It’s October, again — and in October, we like to take some time to pay attention to a few issues that are of special importance to us here at Strickland’s Blinds, Shades, & Shutters. That’s because October is a double-whammy month for awareness: it’s both National Window Covering Safety Month and Child Safety Awareness Month.
To help you make sure your blinds, shades, and shutters are kid-safe (and pet-safe!) we’ve compiled a list of our top seven window covering safety tips.
- Go cordless. Obviously, the ideal solution when it comes to safe window coverings is to invest in a cordless window treatment system. There are tons of cordless options out there — from motorized shades to cordless blinds to shutters. Cordless blinds are the expert pick for homes with kids eight years old or younger.
Why? Because according to Consumer Affairs, four children died from window cord strangulation in a 29-day period in 2016—the most recent in a list that includes nearly 300 child deaths and serious injuries caused by window cords between 1993 and 2012.
- If you can’t go cordless, teach cord safety. If they’re old enough to understand, start by teaching your children the hazards of window cords. Never, ever let kids play with cords. Accidents have happened with children up to nine years old.
- Practice what you preach. Don’t assume teaching your children not to go near cords is enough — we all know kids like to shirk the rules. Do your due diligence to keep cords out of reach. For instance, you might install a high hook that kids won’t be able to reach, then wrap your window cords tightly around it. Make sure tasseled pull cords are as short as possible, or replace them for a break-away version that’s designed to snap apart under stress. Always ensure that all continuous-loop pull cords are tightly anchored to the floor.
- Replace blinds one window at a time. If refitting your windows with cordless blinds is financially impossible for you, consider replacing your corded blinds one window at a time. Start with the rooms your children spend the most time in, and make your way across the house from there.
- Move your furniture away from the windows. If there’s one thing toddlers love to do most, it’s climb — anything and everything. Rearrange your furniture so that your children will not be able to reach any window sills or cords.
- Order safety devices from your window coverings retailer. Most window coverings stores will sell cord cleats and other cord safety devices. Check with your retailer today to see what options they have for you.
- Don’t forget about your pets! Most of the rules for kids can also apply to pets. If you have pets, be sure to avoid any window treatments that they could inadvertently get stuck in. Check out our posts on cat-proof and dog-proof window blinds to learn more about the best options for your furry friends.
Ready to invest in a set of cordless blinds? Need more information on how to keep your window treatments safe for your kids and pets? Visit our showroom today to discuss your options or work with us to design a protection plan that fits your needs.