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Can Vertical Blinds be Safe for Children?
Recalls are the norm in the window covering industry. There have been a large number of them throughout the years on a wide array of different products, manufacturers and styles. But there's one particular aspect that is responsible for a large number of the recalls: cords. Visible cording on window covering products poses a definite safety issue to small children. The most obvious and common problem is the potential for a child to become entangled in the cording. Consumers should be aware and take the issue seriously.
1. Check out the window coverings currently installed throughout the house. It doesn't matter what type of window covering you have in use (roman shades, vertical blinds, horizontal blinds, etc.) Look for any cording that is exposed. Any accessible or visible cords are a definite safety concern. (Don't forget to check the back of your window covering product for cording, as well).
2. Any exposed cording should be taken care of; get in touch with the manufacturer (vertical blinds, horizontal blinds, cell shades...it doesn't matter. Manufacturers are aware of the issue and will have an appropriate response). When you call or email the manufacturer request a retro-fit kit. They are typically free of charge and they include everything necessary to take care of the potential threat to small children posed by visible/accessible cording.
3. If at all possible consumers are urged to replace products with visible cording with newer, safer cordless products. If it's a viable option financially homeowners and landlords alike should consider the peace of mind that will come with knowing that the safety issue has been removed entirely from the property. Cordless products provide the full range of features and benefits that traditional, corded products are known for. They just come with the additional benefit of safety.
4. Property owners can remedy the issue temporarily by tying down any looping cords. The required Hold Downs can be purchased at the local hardware store. They can also be cut and tied with a tassel. Another easy rule to follow to increase safety around windows is to avoid putting any large furniture next to a window. Doing so increases the chances that a child will gain access to exposed cording.
If safety issues are identified in relation to window coverings in the home the issue should be addressed immediately. If the retro-fit kit is not accessible through the manufacturer or consumers are having difficulty accessing the manufacturer's contact information they should contact the Window Covering Safety Council. This organization provides a full range of safety information regarding windows and window coverings and is more than happy to provide retro-fit kits to consumers free of charge. While they provide any and all answers regarding elevating older blinds and window covering products to meet current safety standards...they agree with the industry experts in saying that the safest option is to install cordless products.
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