How to Make Your Window Blind Cords Safe for Toddlers
A Warning To Parents
There is a silent killer lurking in the homes of many parents. It is a danger that is unknown even to some of the most safety conscious moms and dads. I'm talking about window blind cords that are long or end in a loop. In a matter of just seconds, a curious, playful baby or toddler can accidentally wrap a loose cord or chain around his neck and strangle himself.
In the United States alone, one child dies from blind cord strangulation every two weeks. In almost every case, the child was aged three years or younger. This is a shocking statistic. So many tragic deaths that could have been prevented had the cords been made safe.
The video below is a must see for all parents, as it shows how quickly and easily children can get themselves into danger in even the most caring, loving households.
Highlighting Blind Cord Danger
The video above is to highlight how easily a strangulation can happen.
With regard to the safety devices shown in the above video, I draw your attention to the following statement by Linda Kaiser:
"I am the founder of Parents for Window Blind Safety. In the video ... there are devices shown to the public as a way to make blinds safer. We have a record of children being injured and killed on each one of those devices which were properly installed by the parents, the professional installer or the manufacturer. Due to these devices failing so much in the United States we are headed for major changes in stock products and in our safety messaging. These types of devices will no longer be recommended. Here is our website: www.pfwbs.org "
Window Blind Safety Ideas
- Temporary - tuck cords up high
- Cut looped cords
- Install cordless blinds
- Install or use safety devices
- Remove temptation
Making Your Blinds Safer
There are a number of ways to improve the safety of the blinds in your home, or in any home where your children might go (grandparents, holiday houses etc.).
Something you can do right now is to tuck the cords up high so they can't be reached by children even if they are standing on a bed or other furniture, or if they are climbing. A looped cord can become a noose if a child falls with it around her neck. Also make sure that out of reach cords can't be easily knocked down, especially if you have older children in your home who may be careless. All windows with cords need attention, as even very young babies have been known to pull blind cords into their cots.
If you are regularly using the blinds, tucking the cords away is only a temporary fix, as everyone in the household will have to remember to put the cords out of reach every single time, and forgetting just once could have tragic consequences. However, it will make your windows safe in the meantime.
Cut Blind Cord Loops
Some blinds will function just as well with two cords rather than a looped cord. This will not make cords entirely risk free, but it will avoid the danger of the cord becoming a noose.
Before cutting any cord, make sure that the blinds will still function, as some blinds require the cord to be looped. Also, check with the blind manufacturer / retailer that you are not voiding any warranty that you might have on the blinds.
To remove the loop, cut both the cords just above the tassel, remove the equalizer, and then put a new tassel on each cord, as illustrated.
These are the number one recommendation, and should be installed wherever possible.
Most companies now offer cordless blinds. If you are buying new blinds, or renovating, these are definitely worth serious consideration even if you don't have children, as they eliminate all danger of cord accidents.
Cordless blinds do still have cords, so make sure you choose a product where the cord is safely enclosed within the slats and can't be pulled out by little fingers. They are operated by pulling, pushing and tilting the bottom rail. Very clever!
These devices are an excellent, inexpensive option if you don't want to install permanent cleats on your walls.
To use a wind up on your blinds is very simple. You open it up and insert the blind cord through the center slot. You then snap the wind up closed.
Once the device is installed you can rotate it to the top of the blinds to wind up excess length, which will keep the cord safely well out of reach of children..
There are a number of safety devices on the market specifically designed to keep cords out of harm's way.
Cleats are small fixtures that you attach to the wall, and then wind excess cord up around them. These are available from any good hardware store or online. They must be installed high and out of reach, as a cleat will stop dangling cords, but still creates a noose and can be undone if the child can access it.
I was in a rental when my children were younger. As I was not allowed to drill into the walls to install cleats, I bought blind cord wind ups. These let you wind up the cords inside them, and then fix them at a safe height without any damage to the blinds or the wall. I found these worked very well.
Using these devices is better than doing nothing at all, however, if at all possible, approved cordless products are recommended.
Safety Device Awareness
Children are curious and resourceful. The video below shows how cords tied out of reach can still be accessed quickly and quietly by a child.
This is another solemn and shocking reminder to make sure that if you unable to install cordless products, any safety device keeps the cords completely out of reach of children, even if the children climb.
Children love to climb, so to keep them safe, it is best to move beds and other climbable furniture away from window blinds. This will help prevent an accident if the child can access cords after climbing. (It also helps keeps them safe from falling through a window.)
Often there will be items in a room such as chairs, toys and so on that can be dragged and then stood upon. If this is the case, make sure that the blind cords are high enough to still be safely out of reach of curious hands.
Remember that window sills make great ladders, so if you child can stand on a sill, make sure that the cords are higher than he can reach.
Please Share This Information
Knowledge saves lives.
If you know parents or people who care for young children, please let them know of the dangers and what can be done to make window blinds safe. The more people who are aware, the less likely accidents will happen.
You could save a young life.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
© 2017 Suzie Armstrong