We all want our homes to be safe for our kids, but for years corded window blinds have been a hidden hazard in many American homes, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
That era is now over because as of this month, corded window blinds are no longer being sold by American stores or websites.
Child safety advocates are cheering the decision by the Window Covering Manufacturers Association to require stock window coverings to be cordless or designed with inaccessible or short cords.
A study published last year in the journal Pediatrics found that 255 children died after getting tangled up in blind cords between 1990 and 2015, more than 16,800 kids were injured and seen in emergency rooms.
"We've known about this risk for over 70 years, yet we're still seeing children strangled by these products," study senior researcher Dr. Gary Smith told HealthDay last December. "It's just unacceptable."
A year ago, Smith said it was totally doable for manufacturers to reduce the risks associated with corded blinds, and now, finally, they have.
Now, people who need corded blinds (like those with disabilities who find corded blinds easier to use) will still be able to get them as custom orders, but you won't find them on the shelves at your local home improvement store.
Up until now, one child per month (on average) is dying because of window blind cords. It may have taken 70 years, but we're so glad to see this change!
Removing window blinds with cords
Some parents aren't aware that window blind cords can be hazardous. If you have corded blinds in your home and are now wanting to replace them, look for replacement blinds that have the "Best for Kids" certification label on the packaging.
If replacing all the blinds in your house is too costly right now, experts recommend starting with the rooms where your child hangs out the most, like their bedroom and the living room.
If you're renting, replacing blinds can be a bit trickier, as some leases prevent tenants from changing the blinds.
Talk to your landlord about the safety hazard (put it in writing and note the study in Pediatrics and the new regulations from the Window Covering Manufacturers Association ). Alternatively, if your blinds are the snap-in kind, you can remove the landlord's blinds and store them somewhere safe while using your own, safer, window coverings for the rest of your tenancy.