Window Blinds Safety Month at Blinds Chalet
Oct 3 2013
Keeping children safe is important. From state-of-the-art car seats to bicycle helmets, nothing’s more valuable than safeguarding the ones we love.
Before worrying about what goes on outside the home, it’s smart to think about what goes on inside. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, more than 3 million children will visit emergency rooms each year due to injuries sustained in the home, and more than 2,400 kids will sustain fatal injuries in the home this year in the United States alone.
Safeguarding our kids is a full time job. October is Window Blinds Safety Month – the perfect time to take a critical look at your home and make sure it’s safe for your kids and grand kids.
Are your blinds several years old? Do they meet federal guidelines? Now is the time to purchase cordless blinds or blinds that meet today’s guidelines for child safety. According to the Consumer Product Safety Committee, 82 percent of child injuries or deaths from blind cords involve older products that don’t comply with today’s standards. The Window Covering Safety Council goes even further, recommending that families use only non-corded window coverings in a home where infants and children are present. Blinds Chalet is offering free cordless this month, and nearly every blind and shade they carry comes in corded and non-corded options.
Speaking of windows, do your home’s windows have adequate locking mechanisms? Falls, including window falls, are the leading cause of injury for kids ages five and under. Health experts recommend installing child safety window guards – aluminum or steel bars with a maximum four-inch spacing for each window frame. Operable window guards –guards that are easily removed without tools, or fixed window guards can be installed, as well. Experts recommend that at least one window per room have an “operable” guard, to allow exit in case of fire. Also recommended – don’t place a child’s crib or bed against a window.
A large number of falls happen in the bathroom. Even with the most attentive parent, falls happen when wet feet and bodies meet a tub. A non-slip bathtub mat or non-slip tub decals are an inexpensive way to keep your child (and you, too) safe in the bathtub. In addition, the tub should be supervised until it is fully drained. Remember to dry little feet and the floor as kids climb out.
Speaking of bathtubs, how’s your water heater? While you might enjoy a very warm bath, scalding is the most common type of burn for kids. Be sure to set your water heater to a maximum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid accidental scalding, and be sure to install lid locks on toilets to avoid accidental drowning when you have a toddler in the home.
The kitchen is considered the heart of the home, but it’s also a common danger zone. Be sure to clean up any water spills or ice on the floor. The kitchen is also the prime place for sharp or dangerous objects in the home. Baby-proof latches are inexpensive and easy to install. Experts recommend storing knives and glassware in top cabinets for extra security. Use back burners whenever possible and keep a fire extinguisher in the room, though you should never attempt to put out a large fire with an extinguisher. For anything more than a small pan fire, evacuate the home and dial 911.
A danger that many people don’t think of is television or furniture tip-over. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, over the past ten years a child has visited the emergency room every 45 minutes because of a TV tip-over. If you own a large television, it should be placed on a low and stable piece of furniture and strapped down. If you have a flat screen, be sure to use the proper brackets and braces to assure the television is mounted securely. A study by Pediatrics Journal states that as flat screen televisions make their way in to homes, old, heavy televisions end up on dressers and other places that aren’t safe. In addition, flat screen televisions may be lighter, but they are also easier to tip over.
October is the time to enjoy your kids and all the fun the fall season brings. Be sure to keep them safe this month, and all year long. If you have older window treatments that are not cordless, please take advantage of our free retrofit kits and make your existing shades cordless.
by Brandon Jolley
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