Blind cords pose a hazard to children found in homes

INDIANAPOLIS (WXIN) – The Consumer Product Safety Commission is warning people of one of the most serious dangers in their homes.

According to the CPSC, an average of about nine children under the age of 5 die each year from strangling themselves in blinds, blinds, drapes, or other window coverings with cords. This hidden danger can lead to tragedy even when an adult is around.

“Young children can quickly and silently strangle themselves on pull cords, endless cords, inner cords or other accessible cords on window coverings,” CPSC Chairman Alex Hoehn-Saric.

In 2012, a 14-month-old girl was found dead in her cradle. One of the child’s parents reported that she reached from her crib to the window and pulled enough cord to strangle herself to death.

The death of this little girl was just one of more than 200 incidents involving children as young as 8 years old from January 2009 to December 2021 due to strangulation hazards from window covering cords. These injuries include a scar around the neck, quadriplegia, permanent brain damage, and even death.

(Photo: CPSC)

When the 14-month-old girl died, the report indicates that the window coverings had no internal cord locks attached. She could reach the inner cord from her crib, which was placed to the left of the window opening. Photos included in the CPSC incident report show the crib’s placement near the window:

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The CPSC urges people to take the time to choose wireless window coverings. These are available from most major retailers and online.

In particular, the Commission is urging people with children to purchase and install wireless window coverings in all rooms where children may be present. If this is not possible, the CPSC recommends taking the following security measures:

  • Avoid dangling cords by making the drawstrings as short as possible.
  • Keep all window covering cords out of the reach of children.
  • Ensure that the rope stops are properly installed and adjusted to limit the movement of the inner lifting ropes.
  • Anchor endless cords for curtains and blinds to the floor or wall.
  • Move all cribs, beds, furniture, and toys away from windows and window cords, preferably on a different wall.

The Commission is also working to address strangulation risks under two proposed rules for corded window coverings.

One of the rules would specify performance requirements for secure actuator cords on custom window coverings. The other rule would classify the presence of hazardous operating cords and cords on stock window coverings and hazardous inner cords on custom window coverings as a significant product hazard.

For more information on window covering safety, visit the CPSC website. Blind cords pose a hazard to children found in homes

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