The Window Covering Safety Council encourages parents and child caregivers to review the basics of window covering safety:

Basic Window Cord Safety

What to Look For… 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.   If at all possible, use only non-corded window coverings in homes where infants and young children are present. If you have corded window coverings and can’t replace them with today’s safer products, check them for the following hazards and order our free retrofit kits as needed.

  • Move all cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from windows and window cords, preferably to another wall.  
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  • Keep all window cords well out of the reach of children.  Eliminate any dangling cords.
  • Make sure that tasseled pull cords are as short as possible
  • Check that cord stops are properly installed and adjusted to limit the movement of inner lift cords. 
  • Continuous-loop cords on draperies and vertical blinds should be permanently anchored to the floor or wall. 

Learn how to retrofit older window coverings by clicking here. Better Yet… replace older corded window blinds, shades and draperies with today’s safer products.  And use only non-corded window coverings in homes with infants and young children.2

Safety & Design Tips

Focus on Safety When Decorating Children’s Rooms

Parents and parents-to-be have a million things on their minds when it comes to raising their children. But every parent needs to be aware of child safety, and this begins in the home.

Children’s rooms are the best place to start. According to child-safety experts, the typical focal points for decorating a child’s room — windows, cribs and bedding — also hold the greatest potential danger to a child’s safety.

To make sure your child’s room is a safe one, consider the following tips:

Window Areas:  Never place a crib, playpen, bed or any type of low-standing furniture near a window. In exploring their surroundings, young children 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.4

Dangling or accessible cords on window coverings can pose an accidental strangulation hazard to infants and young children. For safety’s sake, replace older corded window coverings with today’s safer products.  The Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) and government safety officials recommend that you only use cordless window products in homes with young children.

If you can’t replace your corded window coverings, you can order free retrofit kits from WCSC at www.windowcoverings.org.  The website also contains a wealth of useful safety information for parents and caregivers.

Cribs:  Make sure the crib you are using is sturdy, properly assembled 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.

Heirloom cribs and hand-me-downs may not meet the latest safety guidelines, or may have dangerously loose or missing parts. The CPSC recommends consumers replace any crib that is 10 years or older with one that meets current safety standards.

Remember to place the crib on a non-windowed wall.  Once a child is able to push up on his hands or knees, or reaches 5 months of age, the CPSC recommends removing any crib toys strung across the crib or playpen to avoid accidental strangulation.

Bedding:  Adorable as they may seem, crib comforters, bumpers, and baby pillows can pose a safety hazard. Safety officials caution parents not to place fluffy soft comforters or pillows in the crib where they might smother a baby. Consider a colorful mobile suspended from the ceiling, wallpaper borders, a patterned window valance or a cheerful color of wall paint as a satisfying and safer decorative focal point for baby’s room.

Other Room Elements:  Be sure to cover all electrical outlets.  Consider open bins for storing toys.  Children can easily injure themselves with hinged toy boxes. Purchase a spring-loaded lid-support device for a toy chest to prevent the lid from falling on a child’s neck or from closing and trapping a child playing inside the chest. Finally, make sure the changing table has safety straps.  Baby powder, diaper ointment, and similar baby-care products should be accessible to the caregiver, but well out of the child’s reach.

Order Free Retrofit kits

To help prevent cord accidents, the Window Covering Safety Council provides consumers with free retrofit devices. A safety brochure with retrofit instructions is included with each order.

You may order online by completing the form below, or you may phone your order to the Window Covering Safety Council’s toll-free number at 1-800-506-4636.

Note: Retailers and representatives of multi-user housing complexes should contact their window covering suppliers directly for retrofit kits.

Orders over 5 must be faxed on your organization’s letterhead to WCSC at 212.370.9047 for fulfillment.

How To Retrofit

Install only cordless window coverings in homes with young children. Parents and caregivers should replace older corded window coverings with today’s safer products. However, if you prefer to keep your older window treatments, the following instructions will help you retrofit them. ELIMINATE LOOPED PULL CORDS (pre-1995 miniblinds and pleated shades)3

  1. Cut the looped pull cord above the tassel, and remove equalizer buckle (if any).
  2. Insert cord through tassel and tie cord ends to secure the tassel.

 

INSTALL CORD STOPS (all pre-2001 horizontal blinds and corded shades)

  1. Lower the blind to its proper length and lock cords into position at head rail.For each pull cord:
  2. Pinch together a portion of the pull cord to create a loop near the head rail, then slide the cord stop over the loop end.
  3. Slip the free end of the pull cord through the loop to loosely knot the cord stop onto the pull cord.4
  4. Tighten the knot to secure the cord stop one to two inches below the head rail to limit movement of inner lift cords.