October is National Window Covering Safety Month
√ Strangulation injuries as a result of cords continue to harm young children
√ If cordless window treatments are not an option, basic safety precautions are needed to keep cords out of the reach of children
Submitted by the New York State Division of Consumer Protection
During National Window Covering Safety Month, the New York State Division of Consumer Protection is alerting families to go cordless for all window coverings. The Consumer Product Safety Commission found that an average of nine children die per year from strangulation due to window treatment cords and, from 2009 to 2020, another 200 children suffered serious injury. In December 2018, the window treatment industry voluntarily agreed to phase out window treatments with cords. As a result, stock window coverings sold in stores or online should be cordless or free of accessible cords to meet the revised voluntary safety standards.
“Strangulation from the cord of a window treatment can happen in the blink of an eye,” New York State Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said. “The New York Division of Consumer Protection is calling attention to this issue by promoting replacement of corded window coverings or taking active steps to keep pull cords up and out of reach when replacement is not possible.”
New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, “I encourage parents and caregivers to be vigilant and mindful of the dangers of window treatment cords and follow the practices listed to help prevent a tragic accident. I thank our partnering agencies for their efforts to raise awareness of this issue and help bring an end to these injuries and deaths.”
New York State Office of Children and Families Services Sheila J. Poole said, “Taking an extra minute to make sure that window covering cords are safely tucked away from the reach of children can mean the difference between life and death. With fall upon us and winter approaching, children will spend more time indoors. This reminder will alert all parents, grandparents and caregivers that they can avoid tragedy by installing cordless window treatments, and, if cordless are not possible, to safely tuck cords away and out of the reach of children.”
Where corded window replacement is not an option, the DCP recommends three additional safety measures to secure cords:
√ Tie up loose ends. Secure pull cords well above a child’s reach using a cord cleat or wall attachment. Simply placing a pull cord on a piece of furniture or wrapping it around the window treatment can result in the pull cord coming free and dangling within a child’s reach.
√ Eliminate looped pull cords. If any part of the cord has a loop or plastic connector, simply cutting the end and removing the connector ensures the pull cord ends will not become an accidental strangulation hazard.
√ Install cord stops. Ensure cord stops are property installed to limit the length of inner lift cord that can be pulled out.
√ Keep away play. Move anything that children play with away from the window treatments and pull cords, including all cribs, beds, furniture and toys.
For more ideas to retrofit corded window treatments, visit https://windowcoverings.org/retrofit-your-windows/.
The New York State Division of Consumer Protection serves to educate, assist and empower the state’s consumers. People can file a complaint with the DCP at https://dos.ny.gov/consumer-protection.
For more consumer protection information, call the DCP helpline at 800-697-1220 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, or visit the DCP website at https://dos.ny.gov/consumer-protection. The division can also be reached via Twitter at @NYSConsumer or Facebook at www.facebook.com/nysconsumer.