You won’t be able to buy some corded blinds starting Saturday. Here’s why
A new safety standard will take effect Saturday limiting the manufacturing of corded blinds in response to fears they could injure or kill children by strangulation.
Starting Dec. 15, most products used to cover windows must either be cordless or have short, inaccessible cords.
Details of the ban in corded blinds were revealed in January by the Window Covering Manufacturers Association.
“The new safety standard is a direct result of ongoing industry innovation, technological advances and new product development,” Ralph Vasami, executive director of the WCMA, said in a statement in January.
The standard will affect more than 80 percent of all window covering products sold in the U.S. and Canada.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there have been 50 fatalities reported between 2012 and 2017 linked to window cord strangulation among infants and young children.
A study published last year in the journal Pediatrics found between 1990 and 2015, about 17,000 children under 6 years old – about two kids a day – went to the emergency room for injuries related to corded blinds.
“A curious child can quickly get entangled in a window blind cord,” Gary Smith, senior author of the study and director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, said in a statement. “This can lead to strangulation within minutes, and the parent may not hear a thing because the child often can’t make a sound while this is happening.”
In 2015, the WCMA created a “Best for Kids” program to help consumers identify window blinds that were safe in households with kids.
CPSC advises consumers to replace any cordless blinds with cordless ones. For households with corded blinds, the CPSC suggests the following tips:
- Move any furniture away from windows or cords to make them tougher to reach.
- Keep tasseled pull cords as short as possible.
- Remove dangling cords, and keep any others out of reach.
- Double check cord stops are properly installed to limit their movement.
- Keep continuous-loop cords on draperies and vertical blinds anchored to a floor or wall.
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.
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