Health Canada

Health Canada

November 07, 2013 12:44 ET

Harper Government Encourages Parents and Caregivers to "Go Cordless" when Selecting Window Coverings

Working to prevent injury

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 7, 2013) - Today, Parliamentary Secretary Eve Adams on behalf of Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, held a blind cord demonstration to warn Canadian parents and caregivers about how easily children can be strangled by corded window coverings.

"The recent Speech from the Throne committed to supporting and protecting Canadian Families by collaborating with injury prevention organizations," said Parliamentary Secretary Adams. "Every year, we receive reports of children getting tangled in blind cords with fatal or near fatal results. Parents and caregivers need to have the correct information to keep their children safe and free from injury."

In homes where children live or visit, it is recommended to replace corded window coverings with ones that are cordless, especially in children's rooms and places where children play. Strangulation can happen even when children are in places where parents think they are safe, such as in a crib or in a bedroom. Any type of blind cord, including cords on the side, inside, or on the back of a window covering, is a strangulation risk for children.

"If you cannot replace your corded window coverings, make sure cords are always tied up high and out of reach of children, whether blinds are up or down." said Parliamentary Secretary Adams.

"My life was forever changed after my 14 month old daughter, Bella, was strangled by an inner blind cord last year. When I went to wake her up from her nap I found her with a cord wrapped around her neck," said Candace Allard, a member of the group Parents for Window Blind Safety.

For information on how to help prevent blind cord injuries and strangulations, please visit the Blind cord safety web page on Healthy Canadians.

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Fact Sheet November 2013

Blind Cord Safety - Injury Prevention

Since 1986, a total of 36 deaths and 26 reports of near-misses linked to corded window coverings have been reported to Health Canada, with similar rates of incidents per capita being reported in the United States. The majority of reported incidents involve children between the ages of 10 months and three years.

Children can become entangled in blind cords, which can quickly lead to strangulation and even death.

Strangulation can occur when children:

  • place their heads through a cord loop;

  • wrap a single long cord around their neck; or,

  • pull inner cords out of the window covering, creating a strangulation hazard.

Cordless Window Coverings as the Safest Option

Health Canada warns that any type of blind cord, such as cords on the side, inside, or on the back of the window covering, is a strangulation risk for children. The safest window coverings are ones that have no cords that you can see or touch. Removing corded window coverings is the best way to keep your children safe.

When Replacing Corded Window Coverings is Not an Option

If you cannot replace your corded window coverings, Canadians can reduce the risk of serious injury by always keeping cords up high and out of the reach of children. In addition, be sure to:

  • Never place cribs, beds, and playpens or furniture that a child can climb near a window where a child could reach a cord.

  • Securely attach tension devices supplied with corded window coverings to the wall so children can't place the cord around their neck.

  • Install a cleat or tie-down device up high on the wall and use it to keep cords out of reach of children.

  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions and read all warnings.

Health Canada strongly advises Canadian parents and caregivers to take steps to protect children from the dangers posed by blind cords.

For more information, please visit the Blind cord safety page on the Healthy Canadians website.

Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Michael Bolkenius
    Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
    Federal Minister of Health
    (613) 957-0200

    Health Canada
    Media Relations
    (613) 957-2983

    Public Inquiries:
    (613) 957-2991
    1-866 225-0709