One of the biggest dangers to children is still present in almost every home: window blinds with long cords that can easily get tangled around an unassuming infant or precocious toddler. In fact, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, corded blinds are listed as one of the top five hidden hazards in American homes.
But as of Dec. 15, in just three days, consumers won't be able to purchase blinds, shades, or other window coverings with long cords. The hope behind this historic industry-wide ban is that it will finally help eliminate deaths and injuries caused by blind-cord strangulation.
The new requirement applies to stock products, sold both in-store and online, which account for more than 80 percent of all window-covering products. The new safety standard maintains that all future sales must be solely for cordless window coverings or those with inaccessible or short cords.
The one exception? Custom orders. According to the standard, corded window coverings will still be available to those who need it, including the elderly, those with disabilities, and those with windows in hard-to-reach locations. Still, new restrictions are being put into place for these situations as well.
It's a sudden, major shift that will certainly have consumers wondering how the market will make cordless options more affordable, but — with American emergency rooms treating roughly two children each day for cord-related injuries over the past nearly 30 years — it's also been a long time coming.