Corded Blinds Are Officially Being Banned & It's a Huge Move to Save Kids

baby playing with corded blinds
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Parents have long been warned about the hidden dangers of corded blinds. From 1990 through 2015, nearly 17,000 US children younger than 6 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries related to blinds, and 271 children died from their injuries. But a new landmark initiative aims to protect kids from the risks of corded window blinds for good. Starting December 15, 2018, window-covering manufacturers are banning the sales of all corded blinds in the US.

  • The Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) are behind the change.

    Last year, the organizations announced that they had a plan in place to ban the use of corded blinds by 2018, and this is the result of that goal. The ban means that any mass-produced window product sold in retail and online stores must either be cordless or have no accessible cords. Nikki Hummel, product manager at Blindsgalore.com, told Parents the ban will not apply to custom-ordered blinds, but even in those cases, the cord length should be "at maximum 40 percent [of] the length of the shade" to decrease the risk of entanglements.

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  • Strangulation is the most serious risk from corded blinds, and countless parents have shared warnings after almost losing their kids.

    In 2016, a mom shared a viral video of the horrifying day that she was recording her baby eating a snack and then looked over to see her oldest son, Gavin, hanging from the blind cord by the window. The 7-year-old survived his scary accident, but the mom shared the disturbing footage to spread awareness to other parents.

  • The majority of children who die from cord blind strangulation are toddlers, according to NPR.

    Of the children who become entangled in corded blinds, about 43 percent were last seen asleep or going to sleep and another third were playing or watching TV, proving that it often happens during times when parents least expect it. Entanglement can happen quickly, and because children are being strangled by the cord, they often cannot yell or make any sound. From 2012 to 2017 alone, there were 50 fatalities reported from cord blind strangulation, averaging about 10 children per year.

  • The ban on corded blinds unfortunately can't cover blinds that have already been purchased and installed.

    If you live in an older home or apartment with corded blinds, they will need to be replaced. Hummel told Parents that she recommends going with a cordless or motorized option. “The blinds I recommend around children would be a cellular shade, roller shade, or solar shade -- something flat and simple instead of something with multiple rungs or an open structure," she said.

    You can also opt for blinds that have a wand instead of a cord. Thanks to a program put in place by the Window Covering Manufacturer's Association, many blinds that have been specially certified safe in homes with small children should also have a "best for kids" label.

    If you're unable to replace your existing corded blinds or can't afford to, the Window Covering Safety Council provides directions on how to make corded blinds safer for kids. They also offer free retrofit kits to help childproof existing blinds.