SOURCE: Window Covering Safety Council

November 03, 2005 09:00 ET

Be Thankful for the Safety of Your Loved Ones: Check Your Home for Potential Window-Cord Hazards

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 3, 2005 -- Nothing brings family together quite like Thanksgiving, a holiday tradition built upon family reunions, laughter and cheer. We may capture such joyous moments through photo albums, but we always know and remember Thanksgiving for the more powerful feeling that it imparts -- a strong appreciation for our own personal health and safety. This holiday season, the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) is reminding families to practice window cord safety in the home.

While the window covering industry has made significant strides in reducing potential cord-strangulation risk by redesigning window coverings and offering free cord-retrofit kits, many consumers have not taken action to update their window coverings. According to information provided by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, since 1991 more than 175 infants and young children have died from accidental window-cord strangulation.

The WCSC recommends that consumers follow a few simple steps to ensure that window coverings remain at the lowest risk for potential harm:

--  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, that continuous-
    loop cords are permanently anchored to the floor or wall, and that 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.
    
--  Consider installing cordless window coverings in children's bedrooms
    and play areas.
    
--  Retrofit window blinds, corded shades and draperies manufactured
    before 2001 with cord-retrofit devices, or replace them with today's safer
    products.
    
By following these safety tips, parents can actively work to eliminate potential window cord hazards in their home and protect the safety of their families.

The Window Covering Safety Council is a coalition of major U.S. manufacturers, importers and retailers of window coverings. Consumers can receive additional information and free cord-repair kits through WSCS's website at www.windowcoverings.org or at its toll-free phone line at 1-800-506-4636.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Line illustrations and captions describing how to retrofit older window blinds can be downloaded at www.windowcoverings.org.

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