There are so many various products on the market, some of which claim to be safer than others. Safety devices and many retrofits attached to cords have failed to prevent strangulation in hundreds of injuries and death cases in the USA. Exposed loose inner cords and even short cords (which can be pulled on to create a dangerous long length) have been involved in several accidents of the most diligent parents. Kids typically use cords in dramatic play and will use whatever they can to reach them. Cordless window coverings create a safe sleep and play environment for kids, can be cost-effective and they look fabulous. Due to the ease of operation, the elderly and disabled communities prefer cordless window coverings over corded products.
Here is what to look for:
- No pull cords to raise and lower.
- No Tilt cords to allow light in.
- Tight inner cords that won’t make a loop for a small head to fit through.
Cord safety can be very confusing because all window covering products with cords must have a warning label, even the cordless ones. We are working on this issue.
Look for the Lab Tested Mom Approved Seal of Approval. Our safety seal is only given to window covering products that have passed our strict lab criteria. Products that bear our seal do not have hazardous cords that create strangulation hazards. If you cannot find blinds or shades with PFWBS Seal of Approval, look for the Best for Kids certification mark on products. Both labels require products to be tested for strangulation hazards.
It is so important to report an unsafe product.
Information taken from the accident can help manufacturers, government officials and safety advocates by knowing key details on how to work together in creating safer products. Your information is vital in saving future children.
- Loops created by knotted or tangled cord.
- One or more long cords which the child wrapped around the neck.
- Loop above a single tassel of the cord.
- Loop above the stop ball of the cord.
- Loop created when pull-cord was tied to another object, usually on the wall.
Source: APNR Document, Docket No. CPSC-2013-0028 Table 2
More than 600 young children are treated in U.S. emergency departments (EDs) each year for injuries related to window blinds, according to a January 2018 Pediatrics study that found that window blind cords continue to pose serious strangulation risk to young children.
Researchers from the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital are calling for a new mandatory safety standard to prevent these injuries, which can be fatal.
The team studied incident reports from two U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) databases and reported its findings in the article “Pediatric Injuries Related to Window Blinds, Shades, and Cords” (Onders B, et al. Pediatrics. Dec. 11, 2017, https://doi.org/10.1542/ peds.2017-2359).
Using data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, the authors estimated about 16,827 children under age 6 years were treated in an ED for a window blind injury from 1990-2015. Roughly 61.6% were boys, and the average age was 2.6 years. About 65.3% of the injuries occurred in the head region, and just under half of all those injured were struck by the blinds, according to the study.
While 93.4% were treated and released, there were 271 deaths, nearly all of which were associated with entanglement. The In-Depth Investigation database, which includes detailed reports on 231 blind cord entanglements, found that about 67% resulted in death.
Children have died in licensed daycares and on military posts throughout the nation. A national cordless law is needed to ban hazardous accessible cords from military housing and early childhood development centers. All sleep environments should be safe for kids.
- CPSC Daycare Study
- Angel’s Law
- Washington Post
- The Fredrick News-Post
- PDF of Incidents Involving Children & Window Coverings on Military Bases
If your child has been involved in an accident and you would like to get involved to change laws, please contact us.
Most consumers may believe that products sold in America are safe – especially if products are marketed to pass safety standards. However, thousands of children are injured on products every year that pass safety standards. Why? Most industry standards are developed and written by the industry with no agency telling them they must design out hazards that cause the injuries. PFWBS has been working in the standard development process for window coverings for the past decade in Canada and the United States. In 2018 the Industry in the US removed hazardous cords from stock products, a victory in advocacy. In 2019 Health Canada announced a restricted cord length regulation for all window covering products. Our hope is a stronger US standard in the next coming years.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission regulates the safety of various products in the USA. PFWBS petitioned the CPSC in 2013 asking for a mandatory rule to written into the safety standard preventing long hazardous cords from being manufactured on products. We are still waiting for this rule to be enforced.
- CPSC Window Covering Information Center
- CPSC APNR Docket Corded Window Blinds
- Deaths and Injuries are under reported
- Are your Window Coverings safe?
- Statement from CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye
- Trilateral Letter to the WCMAJuly 2014 Letter CPSC Position on Cord Cleats. CPSC States Using Cleats Are Not Effective
- International Product Alignment Initiative Document
Which product design includes hazardous cords?