The home is a potentially dangerous place for young children. Simple household items can cause serious injury or even death when toddlers are around. Cords attached to blinds and curtains are some of the many things in every home that need to be childproofed.
Because of issues with children getting strangled by blinds and curtain cords, grassroots organizations, legislators and manufacturers themselves have put together campaigns to combat future injuries and deaths. In Europe, new standards have been introduced whereby blinds and curtain manufacturers must produce child-safe products or supply complementary safety devices.
Even still, there are potentially millions of existing blinds and curtains that were produced without safety precautions. For this reason it’s imperative that parents ensure their blinds and curtains are child-proofed.
What to Look For:
The main threat for a parent to look for is a blinds or curtain cord that contains a loop. This is a potential choking hazard and needs to be modified. One modification available is a tensioning device which keeps the loop taut and close to the wall while being too small for a child to fit their head through. Cords can also be fitted with breakaway devices which break the loop when pulled too hard. A third device is known as a cleat. This simple piece of plastic or metal is positioned above the reach of a child and allows an adult to wrap the cord around it keeping it the loop tucked away safely.
Beyond safety devices, it’s still important to keep blinds and curtain cords out of the reach of babies and young children. This includes keeping baby beds, toys and any climbable furniture away from blinds and curtains. Regular inspection of existing safety devices can pinpoint a malfunction before an accident can occur. And when purchasing new blinds or curtains, make sure that safety devices are already built into the product.
In conclusion, a few simple steps can prevent needless child death and injury caused by blinds and curtain cords. Installing safety devices yourself or buying blinds and curtains that already contain them is critical. Inspecting these safety devices regularly will rule out malfunction. And keeping cords out of the reach of toddlers in the first place will prevent accidents from happening.