Every parent wants to keep their child as safe as possible, but for many parents across the country, it isn't financially possible to completely eliminate the risk of window blind cords. Known as the silent killer, these cords have left hundreds of children strangled to death while parents or caregivers are close by. Despite the danger, Rick Steele, cofounder and CMO of SelectBlinds.com, told POPSUGAR that industry resources estimate that the majority of window coverings sold in the United States are still corded, posing a potentially serious health risk to young children and pets.
"All corded products are unsafe and require other safety measures to make them safer," explained Steele. "Going cordless is the only way to be 100 percent kid-safe and pet-safe." If going completely cordless isn't an immediate option, there are still ways to protect your family. Check out these nine things that you can do to keep kids safe if you live in a home with window cords.
- Order safety devices online: Not only do cord cleats make corded blinds safer by consolidating the excess cord and keeping it out of reach from a small child, but they can also be ordered online for free.
- Pull away all furniture from windows: Children love to climb on things and may still find ways to reach wrapped cords by climbing onto the window sill or furniture. Even if window coverings are secured by cord cleats, all furniture should be moved away from windows to prevent children from accessing any existing cords.
- Replace blinds one window at a time if need be: If you're financially unable to change out all of your old window coverings for cordless blinds, consider replacing blinds one window at time, starting with the ones in rooms where your child spends the most of his or her time.
- Check out price-comparable options: Don't just automatically assume that cordless blinds are much more expensive. Horizontal shade products, including cellular/honeycomb shades and roller shades, are great economic choices that are comparable in price to their corded versions.
- Don't assume they've outgrown the risk: Even if your child is no longer a tot, you still need be vigilant. Accidents have been reported with children up to 8 years old.
- Cut the cord: An easy option is to simply cut the cords off your blinds. While this does remove the ability to lift and lower blinds, slats can still be tilted using the tilt wand.
- Don't just tuck: It's important to be aware that tucking the cord behind window coverings is not a safe option. It's easier than you might think for little hands to climb to reach tucked or "secured" cords.
- Check the product: According to Steele, there are many products being sold by peer-to-peer e-commerce sites that don't conform to the current safety standards and have long inner cords that can easily be pulled out, forming a loop large enough for a child's head. It's also necessary to be aware that even current safety standards of two separate cords or safety releases are not enough to protect all kids because children can easily get wrapped up and tangled in a single cord.
- Don't overlook the installation: "Continuous cord loop products are only as safe as they are installed properly," said Steele. "Many people do not properly secure the cord-restraining device to the wall or floor, leaving the cords slack enough for a child's head to fit through." Remember that continuous cord loops are just that, loops, and children are also able to easily tangle themselves in a single cord.