Parents will do everything for their children’s safety. Locks on cabinets, cover on electrical outliers, install gates to prevent falls down the stairs— but, there is one danger that many parents overlook: window blinds and curtains.
Window blinds and curtains may seem harmless, but these pose a serious risk to children, especially those who are young and curious. Let’s know the possible risk of window blinds and curtains and how parents can protect their children from accidents.
Ensuring Child Safety: Potential Risks of Window Blinds and Curtains
Every child loves to explore their surroundings, and window treatments are no exception. Toddlers and young children are the most at risk, as they may not understand the dangers associated with blinds and curtains.
According to the statistics of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), between 2012 and 2020, over 500 reported incidents of children that are put in danger, and most incidents resulted in death.
These statistics are concerning because they demonstrate that window blinds and curtains can pose a serious risk to the safety of children. The cords on window coverings can pose a strangulation hazard, and young children are particularly vulnerable to this risk. Even if a child does not die from strangulation, they can suffer serious injuries, such as brain damage, due to lack of oxygen.
Common Dangers of Blinds and Curtains on Children
Window blinds have cords and loops to open and close these window treatments. The cords and loops can put your child at risk of entanglement and strangulation. Children that are entangled in these cords or loops may have serious injury or even death.
Besides entanglement and strangulation, there are a few other potential hazards of window blinds and curtains that parents should be aware of:
- Lead exposure. Older window blinds and curtains may have lead in their coatings, which is harmful when ingested or inhaled by your children. Most especially when young children are fond of putting things in their mouths.
- Choking hazard. Some blinds and curtains have small parts or decorative elements that can fall off and become a choking hazard.
- Cuts and scratches. Sharp edges and metal components on the window blinds and curtains cause cuts and scratches when they bump into them.
Parents and caregivers must be aware of the potential dangers of blinds and curtains on children.
Regulation and Safety Standards of Window Blinds and Curtains
In response to the risks and dangers posed by window blinds and curtains, various regulations and safety standards have been put in place to protect child safety. Even the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WMCA) has established safety standards for blinds and curtains. It includes warning labels, cord stops, and safety features that keep children safe.
Tips for Parents and Caregivers on Handling Window Blinds and Curtains
Parents and caregivers do not have to live in fear or dispose of the blinds and curtains they have at home. You can follow several tips that reduce the risks associated with window treatments. Here are some tips for parents and caregivers on handling window blinds and curtains:
- Choose cordless or inaccessible window coverings. This is the safest option for homes with young children. Most cordless windows have coverings that eliminate the risk of accidental strangulation.
- Keep cords out of children’s reach. If you have window coverings with cords, make sure they are out of reach of children. You can use cord cleats or wraps to keep cords out of reach.
- Use window stops. It prevents windows from opening more than a few inches, which prevents children from falling out.
- Do not place furniture near windows. Children can climb on furniture near windows, so it is best to keep furniture away from windows to prevent accidents.
- Supervise children around windows. Always supervise children around windows, especially if they are open. Make sure they do not play near windows or attempt to open them.
- Educate children about window safety. Teach children about the dangers of playing near windows and the importance of not climbing on furniture near windows. It is important to educate children about window safety from an early age.
Take these precautions and tips on how to protect children from window blinds and curtains, while preventing tragic accidents and keeping your children safe.
It is every parent’s priority to provide safety to their children, but some may overlook that window curtains and blinds can pose life-threatening accidents. Choosing the right window coverings for your home can make a big difference in keeping children safe. Cordless and inaccessible window coverings are the safest option, but if you have window coverings with cords, it is essential to keep them out of reach of children.
Do not forget that these safety measures in mind ensure children are safe around windows and blinds.