Months have passed since the recall of more than 50 million Roman Shades and Roll-up blinds. The recall came as the result of the deaths of five infants and many more near strangulations over the past four years. Children have been getting caught in the dangling cords that help raise and lower these blinds.

Now, nearly five months later, parents still have questions and other parents are uninformed as to the dangers of dangling blinds. The following questions and answers are designed to help parents gain information and take safety precautions in their homes. The information listed below is relevant not only to parents but to any home where children visit and play.

  • How can I tell if my blinds could be a danger to my children? Inspect each and every window treatment in your house to see if there are any cords or lines dangling. The cords are usually found hanging to the right or left of the blind and are used to raise and lower the blind. The blinds most commonly found with hanging cords are Roman Shades and Roll-up Shades. Vertical Blinds and mini blinds may also have hanging cords.
  • What types of window treatments are safe to install? Any window treatment can be safe as long as it is cordless. Cordless window blinds and shades eliminate hanging cords. They use the bottom rail of the window treatment for raising and lowering them. These shades are the exact same make and quality as blinds with cords. The inexpensive upgrade is an easy way to ensure children are safe.
  • What if I can’t afford new window treatments? The Window Covering Safety Council offers free retrofit kits for all types of blinds as well as instructions as to how to install them - http://www.windowcoverings.org/. They also link to helpful sites.
  • How can I help spread the word? Talk about window blinds safety with friends and family. Let your daycare know and have them tell parents. Write about it on your blog or Facebook page. The best thing you can do is to make other people aware. Word of mouth is always the most effective means of educating people.

Today’s window blinds and shades are increasingly being manufactured with safety options and upgrades available. Be sure when purchasing new blinds or window shades to look for cordless options. They may appear as an upgrade that you need to check before purchasing your blinds.

Children’s lives are priceless. Be sure you do everything you can to provide a safe home environment for your children, starting with retrofitting or replacing outdated window treatments.
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