Window Treatments and Child Safety
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced this past December that since 1990 more than 200 infants and young children have died from unintentionally strangling themselves with window blind and shade cords. A national recall was ordered for about 50 million units and the Window Covering Safety Council is urging those with small children to “go cordless” with their window treatments. Fortunately, the window treatment industry now offers a number of control options that do not necessitate these long, hazardous cords.
Going electric is the first option. Most window blinds and shades can be motorized now, totally doing away with the need for cords. With electric window treatments, you have the choice of a remote control or a wall mounted switch. You can also decide whether you want the treatment to be plugged into the wall or battery-powered. For child safety purposes, it may be best go with a battery since a cord plugged into the wall may draw your child’s attention to the power outlet. This is the most expensive child-safe control option and may be out of the question depending on your budget.
An alternative option that is significantly cheaper than motorizing is using a pole to open and close your window treatments. With this option, there is a hook on the end of the pole that fits into a small hole on the handle used to push the treatment up and down. You will more than likely still need to pay a little bit extra to have this option added, but not nearly as much as the cost of motorization. Almost all styles of custom ordered shades and blinds are able to have this option added.
The option that will cost you the absolute least amount of money is just going with window treatments that do not require cords. As far as style goes, this may limit your options, but it will give you peace of mind about your child’s safety and not cost you an arm and a leg in the process. An everyday curtain or drape will work for this as they can just be opened and closed by hand. There are also some types of blinds and shades that do not need cords; you just have to do some searching. The main thing is that if you have small children in your house, it is crucial that you go cordless with your window coverings.