New Redesigned Corded Window Blinds and Shades Causing Injuries and Deaths in Kids

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Parents for Window Blind Safety Releases New PSA After Child Safety Devices Continue To Fail. Safety Experts from PFWBS Urge Consumers to Go Cordless in their homes.

Cord hazards can be overlooked and in plain sight. #GoCordless

As Window Covering Safety Month comes to an end, Parents for Window Blind Safety (PFWBS) reminds consumers to check their window coverings for exposed pull/tilt cords (of any length) and loose inner cords. Parents should be aware that even newly purchased window coverings can cause strangulation if they have cords.

In July 2016, a 2 year old girl died when she hung on the cord of a horizontal blind that was manufactured in 2015 and passed the most recent “stringent national safety standard,” drafted by the industry. In addition, the child’s mother had wrapped the pull cord around a cord cleat in an effort to keep it out of reach. However, her child’s neck got caught in the cord while mom believed she was napping.

Apparently, the little girl climbed up on the window sill during naptime, grabbed the top of the cord that was attached to the top of the blind and connected to the safety cleat. As she fell, she caught her chin underneath the U-shaped cord that was created when she pulled on the cord. The little girl’s mother found her hanging against the wall with the pull cord still wrapped around the cleat. The cord cleat - a purported “safety” device - failed to prevent strangulation even though it was being used properly.

Safety experts from PFWBS and the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommend removing window coverings that have cords and replacing them with affordable cordless models. “In many cases, kids have reached cords parents placed out of reach. Going cordless is paramount,” said Linda Kaiser, who founded PFWBS after her daughter Cheyenne tragically died on a hidden inner cord.

For over 10 years, PFWBS has awarded cordless products that pass strict safety criteria a Seal of Approval to help consumers identify safe products on store shelves. While the industry is responding with a broad array of affordable cordless product designs that eliminates the strangulation hazard industry leaders continue to design products with unnecessary lethal cords.

PFWBS released a 55 second PSA, “At What Cost?” to educate consumers on the low cost of cordless window coverings verses the cost of the risk to motivate consumers to purchase safe cordless window coverings for their home.

According to the CPSC, corded window coverings are one of the top 5 hazards in American homes, with children ages 14 months up to 8 years becoming entangled in lethal cords in less than 60 seconds. Over 500 injuries and deaths have been reported in the United States since 1980, many from products that complied with the current ANSI safety standard. Cords with safety tassels, breakaway cord consolidators, and even cords tied up high in cleats have been involved in numerous accidents.

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PFWBS has become the nation’s foremost advocacy group for protecting children from unsafe sleep environments and preventing injuries associated with hazardous window blind and window covering cords. http://www.pfwbs.org

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Linda Kaiser
@Parents_4Safety
since: 02/2010
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