Window Blind Trade Group Agrees To Set Standards, Keep Kids From Cords

Image courtesy of Giuliana Massaro

You might not think of window blinds as something dangerous, but they pose a risk to children, who can entangle themselves in the cords and be strangled. An average of one child every month has strangled to death on the cord to a window covering for the last few decades. Why hasn’t the window covering industry invented something better and safer than a long piece of string to raise and lower our blinds? An industry group announced today that they will figure one out.

While there aren’t really child strangulation advocates out there, Senators Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota have taken up the cause, last month sending a letter to the Window Coverings Manufacturers Association, the trade group for, yes, window coverings. The process from here is bureaucratic, but the result will be the trade group working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission and their counterparts in Canada to develop a voluntary standard for

Safety advocates have flagged the sometimes long cords that go with window blinds as a safety hazard and encouraged a safer alternative other than pinning cords up with a binder clip since 1981. While some retailers simply don’t carry window coverings with cords, that doesn’t remove them from the market.

“The performance standard created by such an approach will result in the vast majority of window products sold in the U.S. being cordless or having inaccessible cords,” WCMA executive director Ralph Vasami said in a statement.

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