Awareness is the first defense in preventing hazardous situations. There are many household items that in the hands of a curious child can turn into potential hazards. Window coverings are common household products that require proper use to maintain safety. October is designated by the Window Coverings Safety Council, in conjunction with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, as National Window Coverings Safety Month. In an effort to bring awareness and responsiveness within regards to window covering safety.

Parents and caregivers are proactive and wise to check their window coverings for exposed or dangling cords that pose a strangulation hazard to an infant or child. The WCSC and CPSC recommend retrofit or replace corded products with those that are designed with safety features. Further, they recommend, “that only cordless window coverings or those with inaccessible cords be used in homes with young children.”

Corded window coverings are ranked as one of the top five hazards in American homes, with infants and children dying from accidental strangulation with window cords. Many older products may not have the safety devices that the window coverings industry has instituted in the newer product designs. There are many innovative products designed to minimize or eliminate the possibility of hazard from occurring. The window coverings industry is being proactive by designing products to offer safety, convenience of use, and keeping in mind the beauty of the home. Making window fashions safer for homes with infants, young children, and pets must be top priority!

There are products available that are cordless alternatives. When cords cannot be avoided, there are other safety features; cord tensioner and cord cleat that either hold cords taut or allow the excess cord be wrapped. Ideally, it is best to avoid the use of cords altogether in areas where have access.

Some basic safety tips to follow:

- Keep furniture, cribs, and beds away from all windows avoiding climbable surfaces near windows.

- Keep all cords out of the reach of children.

- Install cordless window coverings in homes with children.

- Keep tasseled pull-cords as short as possible or wrapped on a cleat.

- Use tightly anchored continuous-loop pull cords on drapery and vertical products.

- Be sure the cord stops are properly installed and adjusted to the limits of the product movement.

Always be aware and Proactive with eliminating the potential hazards that can inadvertently and unexpectedly come into the hands of a curious and playful child. Find ways to keep your home safe and enjoyable for years to come.

For more information about window coverings safety or retrofit kits, Village Interiors welcomes your comments and inquiry. We invite you to check us out by visiting our studio/workroom at 1615 Cypress Drive in Jupiter. Phone: 561.746.0686