People don’t often think of a window covering as a potential safety hazard. However, the United States Consumer Protection and Safety Commission – a government agency – has identified corded window coverings as one of the top five hazards in homes in America. Small children are curious and, in their curiosity, they can easily get tangled up in corded window treatments and be injured or die (one child dies every month in incidents directly related to corded window treatments).
As of 2018, all window covering manufacturers, distributers, and dealers must comply with new requirements. However, many homes have blinds and shades with existing cords, so here are a few things to keep your home safe:
- Install cord cleats (metal or plastic safety device used to wrap dangling cords so they’re out of children’s reach) on each corded window covering. These can be purchased online or at any home improvement store. They are easy to install and they instantly make your home safer for small children.
- Use a cord tensioner to secure the continuous loop cord. This device, which is installed on the window frame or wall, keeps the tight so that children can’t stick their heads, arms, or legs into the loop.
- Shorten or tie window covering cords up high and out of sight.
If you are thinking about having cordless window coverings installed, you may be wondering if you’re sacrificing style and décor for safety. You are not. There are many child-safe window covering options that are very chic and offer a large degree of customization to get exactly what you want for your home.
There are many choices in shades that are particularly child friendly window coverings. Those include:
- Cellular (honeycomb) shades.
There are a wide variety of fabric opacities ranging from sheer (almost see-through) to completely opaque (unable to see through). How much opacity you choose will depend on how might light you want in your rooms. Cellular shades are available in many colors, fabrics, and textures. Because they open from both the top and bottom, you have complete control over the amount of light you allow to enter your rooms.
- Vertical cellular shades. These typically installed on larger areas, like sliding glass doors, which need window coverings. Like cellular shades, they come in many colors with a wide variety of customizations available. Vertical cellular shades are superior to corded vertical blinds because they are cordless and because when they are opened they occupy less window space (about 7″) than vertical blinds.
- Plantation shutters are another very stylish child-safe window covering option. A wood window covering that comes in many colors, they add a elegant touch to any room and they are completely cord-free. If the window coverings are going to be exposed to consistent sunlight or high heat, then faux wood or composition plantation shutters are recommended.
- Finally, many varieties of wooden blinds are available as a child-safe window covering, using the cordless technology to lower and raise them and to operate the slats.
If you’d like to learn more about child-safe window covering options, our knowledgeable team at McNeill Palm can help. You can come to our showroom at 1191 N. Elgin Pkwy, Ste. C, Shalimar, FL 32579, or you can contact us at (850) 613-6228 for an in home consultation.