Window treatments are not the most obvious danger in your home, but unfortunately data showed 495 children in the US have been injured or killed by blinds in the last few decades. Most of these incidents are caused by the child getting tangled in the control cords and strangling. Fortunately there are a few simple steps which can ensure that your blinds are safe.
Cordless Blinds and Curtains
The simplest step is rather than using Venetian blinds or vertical blinds use window treatments such as curtains, roller blinds or cellular shades that often come with very short or even no cords at all. In addition many blinds come with alternative control systems such as plastic wands. With all of these products it is also vital that secure them strongly enough that they can resist a child pulling down on them. You don’t want them falling on your child.
Buy a cord tidy
If you already have blinds and don’t want to buy new ones then a simple but effective measure is to buy or make a cord tidy to ensure that your children can’t reach the control cords. These can be as simple as a cleat hook or as sophisticated as a ratchet locking system. (A rotating drum with the cords attached insuring allowing you to open or close your blinds by turning the handle). In general the ratchet system is safer as there isn’t the possibility of forgetting and leaving the cords free. It worth noting that unless you know what you are doing shortening the control cords is risky as you might break the blinds.
Be careful with cribs and chairs
Children love to climb so avoid placing cribs, chairs or any other raised surfaces near the windows. This will not only help to ensure that they don’t climb up and get caught in the cords, but will also help to prevent them falling out of or into the window. There have also been some unlucky cases where the cords from a blind have fallen into a crib, and the child has then been caught up in them, so cribs and beds in particular should be kept away from the windows.
Far less of a risk, but important to remember is that if your child has asthma or another respiratory disease then window treatments can be refuge for dust mites and other allergens. To lower this risk you should clean them regularly. Fabric blinds and curtains can either be vacuumed with the curtain attachment of a vacuum cleaner or cleaned more thoroughly by putting them in a bath tub with a little detergent and swirling them around for five to ten minutes. Plastic, wooden and aluminium blinds should be dusted regularly with a damp cloth.
I hope this advice has been helpful and can help you and your child prevent any accidents.