The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission once again is reminding us the cords for window coverings pose a serious risk of strangulation for children.
From 1991 through 2004, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has received reports of about 200 strangulation deaths involving cords and chains on window coverings. Strangulations can occur when young children become entangled in the inner or outer cord on the window covering. Most strangulation deaths involved the outer pull cords. At least 20 of these deaths involved the inner cords which run through horizontal blinds.
“Entanglement and strangulation from older window covering cords are a hidden hazard,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Nord. “It is critical that parents be aware of this and replace or repair window coverings purchased before 2001.”
Outer pull cord deaths typically involve children ranging in age from 7 months to 6 years. Inner cord deaths typically involve children ranging in age from 9 months to 20 months who are placed in cribs or playpens located within reach of window coverings. In all cases, the children became inadvertently entangled and died from strangulation.
Recent changes in industry standards have resulted in new designs which reduce or eliminate the strangulation hazard. However, the dangerous and defective products which were sold for many years are still on windows in Florida. Renters of older homes should be particularly observant and careful about the placement of cribs and playpens.