Window Fashions Safety
National Window Covering Safety Month
Though safety in our homes should be an everyday concern, October is recognized as national Window Covering Safety Month, sponsored by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC).
The whole month of October is dedicated to this national campaign. Its goal is to increase the consumer’s awareness of window cord safety and urge parents with young children to replace all corded blinds, shades and draperies with today’s growing variety of safer cordless products.
According to the CPSC, since 1990 approximately 200 infants and young children have died from accidentally strangling in window cords. These tragedies occur because parents are not aware of the hazards of window cords. Throughout October the CPSC, WCSC and retailers will alert parents to the potential dangers of window cords and give them information on how to safe-proof their windows to protect their children.
The WCSC began a national window cord safety information and education program in 1995. This program is still very active today as the Council provides consumers with free retrofit tassels, tie-downs and cord stops for window coverings made before 2001. Free retrofit devices can be ordered through WCSC’s Web site at www.windowcoverings.org, or its toll-free phone line at 1-800-506-4636.
WCSC is a coalition of major U.S. manufacturers, importers and retailers of window coverings that promote window-cord safety and provides free retrofit kits to consumers.
“WCSC is urging parents and caregivers to replace older window coverings in their home with today’s safer alternatives, such as cordless designs,” says Peter Rush, executive director of the Window Covering Safety Council. “Each year, with the help of the CPSC, we continue to raise awareness of this important issue.”
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Basic cord safety
Children and window cords don't mix. When window cords are accessible to small children, these seemingly harmless products may become strangulation hazards.
This is especially important with older window coverings that may not meet the latest national standard for window cord safety.
The Window Covering Safety Council is urging parents and caregivers to make the right choice and only use cordless window products in young children’s bedrooms and sleeping areas. Owners and renters should replace all window coverings in the home made before 2001 with today’s safer products.
And remember to always follow these basic window-cord safety rules:
Install only cordless window coverings in young children’s bedrooms and sleeping areas. Replace window blinds, corded shades and draperies manufactured before 2001 with today’s safer products.
Move all cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from windows and window cords, preferably to another wall.
Keep all window pull cords and inner lift cords out of the reach of children. 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.
Lock cords into position whenever horizontal blinds or shades are lowered, including when they come to rest on a windowsill.
Copyright © Window Covering Safety Council.
Safety Tips For Children's Rooms
Most parents spend untold hours planning and decorating a baby's room, selecting wall colors, crib accessories and other small touches to create a safe, warm and secure environment. Yet the main focal points for decorating a child's room - cribs, windows and bedding - can also hold the greatest potential dangers for a child's safety.
To make sure a child's room is free from unseen hazards, the Window Covering Safety Council encourages parents to review and follow these basic safety tips:
Although window areas are a tempting place to put a crib or youth bed, never place a crib, playpen, bed or any low-standing furniture near a window.
Infants and toddlers can accidentally fall through an open window or window screen, or become tragically entangled in a nearby window cord. Whenever possible, place cribs and furniture on a non-windowed wall.
Many home experts recommend avoiding long draperies in a baby's room, especially for when they start crawling. It is too easy for babies to grab onto long flowing fabrics, with a danger of pulling the hardware down. Window cords can also be a potential strangulation hazard. Cordless coverings are the only choice to help ensure your baby’s safety. They also create a clean, aesthetically pleasing look. The Window Covering Safety Council recommends you make the right choice and only use cordless window products in young children’s bedrooms and play areas. Owners and renters should replace all window coverings in the home made before 2001 with today’s safer products.
Because infants and young toddlers spend so much of their early lives in a crib, it is especially important to make sure your child's crib is sturdy, properly installed and in compliance with the latest safety standards.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) cautions that crib mattresses should fit snugly, headboards and footboards should be without decorative cutouts, and corner-post extensions should be eliminated. In addition, cribs slats should be spaced no more than 2 3/8 inches apart.
Once a child is able to push up on his hands or knees(around 5 months of age), the CPSC also recommends removing crib toys strung across the crib or playpen to avoid accidental strangulation.
Fashionably coordinated crib comforters, bumpers, sheets and other bedding items are commonplace in today's nurseries.
As adorable as these items may be, safety experts caution parents not to place fluffy soft comforters, pillows, or large stuffed animals in the crib where they might smother a baby.
Outlets and Nightlights
Although most parents are aware of the need to use plug protectors in all unused electrical outlets, they often overlook the potential hazards of plug-in nightlights. To avoid having small fingers probe an electrical outlet, install a brand of nightlight that can only be removed with a screwdriver. In addition, buy "cool" nightlights. Higher wattage bulbs can get hot and burn a curious hand.
Another hazard often overlooked are door-knob locks. Consider removing the locking knob on your child's door and replacing it with a non-locking variety to avoid accidental "lock-ins" and to ensure that you and your child can always enter or leave the room in case of an emergency.
Consider purchasing a spring-loaded lid-support device for toy chests to prevent the lid from falling on a child's neck or closing and trapping a child playing inside.
Changing tables can be stylish, but also need to be safe, with safety straps and a wide tabletop area. Baby powder, diaper ointment and other care products should be out of baby's reach.
When children outgrow the crib, make sure their first bed is low to the floor to prevent falls and placed far away from windowed areas.
About the Window Covering Safety Council
The Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) is a coalition of major U.S. manufacturers, importers and retailers of window coverings dedicated to educating consumers about window cord safety.
Since its inception in 1994, the WCSC has remained steadfast in its mission to:
- educate Americans about potential window-cord hazards facing young children
- provide consumers with free retrofit kits and information
- promote the industry's continuing commitment to product quality and safety
As part of its ongoing public information campaign to increase cord-safety awareness, WCSC regularly disseminates news and informational materials through the media and through partnerships with various public and private organizations concerned with child safety, health and well being.
Click here to learn more about Hunter Douglas Window Fashions safety features.
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