May 31, 2007 11:21 ET

October Kicks Off National Window Covering Safety Month

Important Safety Tips for Parents

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - May 31, 2007) - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the window covering industry joined forces again this year to co-sponsor a month-long educational safety campaign. This October will mark the fifth-annual National Window Covering Safety Month, dedicated to increasing awareness of potential window-cord dangers.

According to information provided by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, since 1990, more than 200 infants and young children have died from accidentally strangling in window cords.

Parents are being urged to use cordless window products in rooms where young children sleep and play, and officials are recommending that parents replace corded blinds, shades and drapes purchased before 2001 with today's safer products.

The campaign's slogan will be "KIDS, CORDS, CAUTION." This message will be displayed in retail stores around the country, and will help serve as a reminder for parents to replace or retrofit older corded window coverings. Child and consumer safety groups and health organizations have been asked to join in the educational effort.

In recent years, the window covering industry has redesigned its corded products and developed cord-safety standards in response to child strangulation concerns. However, consumers may not have retrofitted older corded window coverings, and many new parents are sometimes unaware of potential cord dangers.

Peter Rush, executive director of the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC), stated that WCSC highly recommends the use of cordless window coverings in children's bedrooms and play areas. In addition, says Rush, "Many products have built in cord-safety features which can help parents feel more secure about their child's safety."

Consumers wishing to retrofit rather than replace their older window coverings can order free retrofit devices through WCSC's Web site at or its toll-free phone line at 1-800-506-4636.

To maximize window-cord safety when children under the age of six are present, consumers are urged to follow these safety rules:

--  Install cordless window coverings in children's bedrooms and play
    areas. Replace window blinds, corded shades and draperies manufactured
    before 2001 with today's safer products.
--  Move all cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from windows and window
    cords, preferably to another wall.
--  Keep all window pull cords and inner lift cords out of the reach of
    children. Make sure that tasseled pull cords are short and continuous-loop
    cords are permanently anchored to the floor or wall. Make sure cord stops
    are properly installed and adjusted to limit movement of inner lift cords.
--  Lock cords into position whenever horizontal blinds or shades are
    lowered, including when they come to rest on a windowsill.

The Window Covering Safety Council is a coalition of major U.S. manufacturers, importers and retailers of window coverings dedicated to providing consumer information and educational materials on window-cord safety. WCSC also offers consumers free retrofit devices for addressing potential cord hazards on older window treatments.

Note to Editors: Line illustrations and captions describing how to retrofit older window blinds can be downloaded at

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Cara Clinton
    (212) 297-2100