Childproofing Products - Window Safety


According to the CPSC, the cords on window coverings are a frequent cause of strangulation of children under 5. The younger victims, usually between 10 and 15 months of age, are typically in cribs placed near windows with pull cords. Window blinds pose a particular hazard because a baby's neck could become trapped in the cords that are used to raise the blinds or the ones that run through the slats. A child can become entangled in a looped window cord and strangle in a matter of minutes.

If the crib must be near a window, either cut off the pull cords or use cord shorteners or wind-ups to keep them out of reach. Window blinds sold since November 2000 have breakaway attachments on the pull cords to prevent a loop from forming between the slats. If you bought your blinds before November 2000, call the Window Covering Safety Council at (800) 506-4636 to order a free repair kit. However, strangulation can occur with loose cord ends but end up having a knot in the middle of the cord set.  They are also known as strangulation hazards if they wrap around a neck.

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission,  thousands of children in the United States every year die or are injured in falls from windows. Most of the children injured or killed are under the age of 5.  Always open double-hung windows from the top or fit them with protective means to prevent small children from opening them. Low windows should not open more than 4 inches. Window stops prevent windows from opening more than 4 inches. Some newer windows come with window stops already installed.

Window screens alone aren't enough to prevent falls. You might consider installing window guards, which screw into the side of a window frame, have bars no more than 4 inches apart, and can be adjusted to fit windows of many different sizes.

According to industry standards announced by the CPSC in June 2000, the guards must fit snugly but not so securely that an older child or adult cannot remove them in case of an emergency. (The CPSC considers non-removable window guards safe for windows on the seventh floor and above.)

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