TUESDAY, Oct. 4, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- How can you make your home safer for your young children? You might want to start by removing window coverings with cords that could strangle a toddler.
"Young children can quickly and silently become strangled on pull cords, continuous loop cords, inner cords or any other accessible cords on window coverings," said Alex Hoehn-Saric, chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
"Cordless window blinds, shades, draperies, and other window coverings are the safest option," he said in a commission news release.
The hidden danger of corded window coverings can lead to tragedies, even when an adult is nearby, the CPSC warned.
According to CPSC data, about nine children under the age of 5 die every year, on average, from strangling on window blinds and coverings with cords. Furthermore, there were more than 200 window covering cord incidents involving children 8 and younger between January 2009 and December 2021. Of these incidents, nearly half (48%) of the children died.
Even if they don't die, children can be left with serious injuries such as permanent brain damage or even quadriplegia.
Blinds, shades, drapes and other types of window coverings that don't have cords can be found at most home decor stores and online marketplaces. Installing cordless window coverings in any room where a child might be could save their life.
If you can't replace your corded window coverings with cordless ones, the CPSC suggests that you take the following safety steps:
Make the pull cords as short as possible, to get rid of any loose strings.
Keep all cords for window coverings out of reach of kids.
Make sure that the cord stops are set up correctly and can stop the inner lift cords from moving.
Anchor drapery and blind cords with a loop to the floor or wall.
Move all cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from window cords and away from windows, if possible.
CPSC staff released drafts of two safety rules for corded window coverings on Sept. 28, 2022. If finalized, the rules would address the risk of strangulation deaths and injuries to children.
The CPSC offers more tips on how to prevent your child from getting hurt by window coverings.
SOURCE: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, news release, Oct. 3, 2022