October is Window Covering Safety Month
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the Window Covering Safety
Council and independent retailers have joined forces to raise awareness of strangulation risks presented by window
covering cords and chains. October has been designated "Window Covering Safety Month" by CPSC and the industry
coalition. U.S. consumers are encouraged to repair or replace window coverings purchased before 2001 and to keep
all window cords and chains out of the reach of young children. Through point-of-sale signage in retail stores,
advertising circulars in newspapers and other marketing means, consumers will be alerted to the availability of
free repair kits and strongly urged to repair or replace older window coverings.
"Window Covering Safety Month is an important national
initiative. Repairing or replacing your window coverings is the first line of defense," said
CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton. "Consumers should also secure cords and chains so they are out of
children's reach. Cribs and furniture should be kept away from window coverings so that
children can not play with them."
Between 1991 and 2003, CPSC received reports of 174 strangulation deaths
involving cords and chains on window coverings. 152 deaths involved the outer-pull cords, which raise and
lower the blind. 22 deaths involved the inner-cords, which run through the window blind slats.
Outer-pull cord deaths typically involve children ranging in age from
8-months to 6-years. Inner-cord deaths typically involve children ranging in age from 9-months to 17-months
who are placed in cribs or playpens located within reach of window coverings. In all cases, the children
became inadvertently entangled and died from strangulation.
In recent years, window-covering manufacturers have produced redesigned
products to reduce cord hazards. These redesigns have reduced the opportunity to create hazardous loops in
the cords or chains. The redesigns have also featured permanently attached tie-down anchors and built-in
It is important to note: although redesigned newer window coverings and
repaired older window coverings reduce the risk of strangulation - they have not fully eliminated the
hazard. Long dangling window cords and chains still pose a strangulation hazard for young children.
Consumers should never tie window blind cords or chains together because the knot creates a new loop, which
could cause a young child to become entangled.
During the month of October, CPSC urges consumers to carefully inspect the
cords and chains of all of their window coverings. Consumers are also encouraged to consider cordless
coverings and other alternative window coverings, which have been recently introduced throughout the
country by manufacturers. Consumers with older window coverings are urged to repair or replace their window
For a free booklet from the CPSC click here.
For more information from the CPSC click