October is Child Safety Month, so there is no better time to check out your home for potential safety hazards. Whether you have children living in your home full-time, or you are grandparents or caregivers who only occasionally have children visiting, ensuring your home is safe for the little ones will put your mind at ease.
An average of one child per month dies from strangulation due to the cords on window blinds and shades! Thankfully, that number appears to be falling, now that major changes have been made in the window coverings industry. More companies are offering cordless lifting options for their blinds and shades, and more people are hearing the message that some window treatments simply aren’t safe for children or pets.
Shades and blinds without lifting or tilt cords are the safest options for homes with children or pets. There are also hazards with Roman shades, aluminum blinds and wood blinds, which have cords along the back and through the vanes of the blind. These cords, if not properly secured, can allow pets or kids to get them wrapped around their necks – not good.
You can find more information at the Window Coverings Safety Council website, as well as a link to order free retrofit kits to make older, corded window treatments safer. I urge you to check your window treatments to see when they were manufactured and whether they were made with the new safety standards in mind. The Hunter Douglas website and Graber website also have information about child safety at the window. If you are in the market for new blinds or shades, some window treatment manufacturers are offering special discounts on their cordless shades and blinds during the month of October. Check with your local dealer for more information.
For fun, check out these activity pages for the kiddos: Child Safety Activity Sheets
If you have questions about child and pet safety at the window, please leave a comment below; I’m happy to answer your questions!