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CHILD & PET SAFETY: DON'T BE BLIND


Cord Safety | Lead Safety | Free Safety Tassels

Keep Your Toddlers & Pets Safe: Child-Proof Your Window Treatments
By Blinds.com Staff

More than 140 children have died in the United States since 1981 by strangulation from window treatment cords, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). It is easy to make today's window treatments safer for young children with just a few simple adjustments, to prevent these tragic accidents.


Cribs and furniture should not be placed near a window.
Even if you have child guards on the windows, young children are tempted to investigate cords dangling from window treatments. Since young children climb, never put a chair or other object near a window with a dangling cord.
Keep all cords out of reach from small children and pets.
Place the cords on hooks (called cleats) to keep the cords from being in harm's way. It is best not to wrap them around the cleat, as this causes the cords to twist. Twisting causes the cords to get caught in the headrail, making the shade difficult to keep straight along the bottom. The Window Covering Safety Council advises you to install only cordless window coverings in young children's bedrooms and sleeping areas. Make sure that tasseled pull cords are short and continuous-loop cords are permanently anchored to the floor or wall. Make sure cord stops are properly installed and adjusted to limit movement of inner lift cords.

Eliminate loops on two-corded horizontal blinds.
Cut the cord above the end tassel (the item that looks like a small wooden or plastic thimble). Remove the equalizer buckle, then add new tassels for each cord-or replace it with a safety break-away tassel (please call us for information regarding where to find this for your particular product). The CPSC urges you NOT to retie the cords in a knot, as that will only recreate a new loop.

  • Eliminate cellular shade cord loops.
    Cut the cord and place separate tassels at the ends.

  • Keep continuous looping drapery cords anchored near the floor, to keep the cords taut.
  • Lock cords into position whenever horizontal blinds or shades are lowered, including when they come to rest on a windowsill.
  • Only buy window blinds and shades that already have these safety features built-in. If you already own some that do not, the simplest and quickest solution is to use cord cleats.
  • Replace window blinds, corded shades and draperies manufactured before 2001 with today's safer products.
  • Get FREE Breakaway Safety Tassels from Blinds.com. Simply send a self-addresses, stamped envelope to:

  • Blinds.com Safety Department
    10555 Richmond Ave., Suite 150
    Houston, TX 77042


    To obtain additional information or repair kits for older products can contact the Window Covering Safety Council at www.windowcoverings.org or at 212-297-2100

    Learn More - Play Video Watch Child Safety and Window Coverings Videos

 

 
Are Your Window Coverings Safe For Kids and Pets?
Submitted by Levolor Staff

Much has been said recently about the safety issue of window coverings, particularly regarding potential illness and injury to children. Obviously this is an important concern for consumers who are parents and new home buyers. Let me go into a little history, and what to look for when making a decision about what are the best and safest window covering products to put into your home.

In 1996, a tragic situation that occurred in Arizona. A child died of lead poisoning. When local officials investigated the home of the child, the only material found to contain even trace amounts of lead were the low priced, imported vinyl mini blinds. Prior to 1996, on low priced mini blinds like these, lead was used as a stabilizer, to make the slats of the blind more rigid. It was found that the sun's UV rays actually caused a breakdown of the vinyl, creating dust on the surface of the blinds. This dust, as it turns out, contained trace amounts of lead. The speculation was that the child in Arizona either chewed on, or somehow ingested the dust on the blind. While it is still debated whether the amounts of lead present were sufficient to cause illness or death, the situation was serious enough for the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) of the US Government to become involved. The CPSC's decision was to rule that any vinyl mini blind sold in the US must be re-formulated to use something other than lead to stabilize the vinyl. Most retailers at that time removed these products from their shelves, until a suitable replacement could be obtained. Since that time other materials, primarily tin, have been utilized in low cost, low price vinyl blinds.

This was never an issue with custom made, high quality, aluminum mini blinds, like those available through Blinds.com. Because the surface of aluminum mini blinds is painted, you should feel comfortable with any aluminum mini blinds you have, or are considering, for your home.

Another important concern is mini blind lift cords. These are the strings that you use to raise and lower your blinds. A rare, but no less tragic situation has occurred where children have been strangled by blind cords. In the past, these cords, as many as four to five, have been knotted together at the end, to allow for easier control in raising and lowering the blinds. The concern was that children could potentially get caught in this "loop" created by the knotting.

We window covering manufacturers decided that we had to do something to make the products as safe as possible for our consumers. Two basic solutions became the norm in the mid- 1990's. One solution, which Levolor Home Fashions has implemented, is to no longer knot the lift cords, thereby eliminating any loops that could cause injury. This multiple cord/tassel situation means that you have a number of cords that have to be grabbed and pulled simultaneously. The other method, used by Hunter Douglas for example, is a tassel that separates when force is applied in the loop created by knotting the cords. While both systems work well in situations where a child may get caught in the loop created by knotting the cords, they do not address a situation that is more prevalent. In most cases where a child is injured by a window covering, it is because the child places the cord in his/her mouth, and the cord gets wrapped around the neck. No number of tassels, or breakaway design can prevent this situation.

There are some easy, common sense rules to apply to window coverings that are in close proximity to where small children or small pets play.

KEEP THE BLIND CORD AWAY FROM THE CHILD, AND THE CHILD AWAY FROM THE BLIND CORD!

This means, DO NOT place cribs, playpens, etc., near windows. If there is no way around placement near a window, then do one of two things. One, when the blind is lowered all the way, cut the cords as close to the top of the blind as possible. Then, re-install the tassels. This will allow Mom and Dad to reach the cords, but keep the cords away from the children. The second suggestion would be to use an old fashion "cord cleat" available at most any window covering retailer, to tie the cord out of reach of the child.

Now, Blinds.com offers a variety of procucts with the cordless option to keep your home free of danger. The company's commitment to safety shows since they are continually updating their product line to reflect new technology.

Regardless of what product you choose to personalize your windows, if there are small children nearby be sure to take the proper steps to insure their safety.

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