As always, I seem to find such interesting inspiration in my customers at the store, which I then turn into a wonderful idea to share with you all. This week was quite an interesting one for some, with snow in nearly every area imaginable, even some which haven't seen it in years. To me though, being born and raised with the cold winters out here in Chicago, it was business as usual. There were a few customers that we're in from out of town that I could clearly tell were waaay out of their element. (The shorts and lack of a coat were a dead giveaway!)
One couple and I had got to talking, and they were taking a much needed escape from the house where their 3 kids had started tearing the house apart after being called out of school from the snow. They needed to invest in some new blinds after a little bit of rough-housing had caused the blinds to "fall apart" for lack of better term They had a few ideas in mind, but as we're going over them, I noticed they also had a smaller child in tow. I mentioned the options we have as far as "Child Safety" and what types of blinds or measures they could take. Going over that with them prompted me to find this as a good idea to share with all of you, as well as reach out for your own "Blind Safety Ideas."
- Am I Safe Already?
That all depends on what type of treatments you currently have up in your windows and how old they are. As of 2001, safety regulations for all blinds sold and produced in the US went through a major overhaul. Any window treatments made today are much different in design to their older counterparts. One major difference is in the structure of their pull cords...
You'll notice that on the older style, the cords form a loop where they meet at the tassel. This became a concern for smaller children becoming caught in it, and a possible strangulation risk. All newer cords come independent of each other as shown towards the right, with individual tassels. Another risk are cord-loop type blinds that are common with Roller, Roman, or Woven type shades. With these types, make sure they are anchored up high with a tie down device or pulley.
- What if I have these types of blinds, and I can't afford new ones?
There is a solution for that as well. The WCSC (Window Covering Safety Council) are prepared to help out families with these older type blinds. They'll not only provide customers with Free Retro-fitting kits, but they also provide easy to follow instructions on how to use them on your treatments. Here is a link to check their guides on retrofitting.
- What type of blinds should I look for when purchasing new ones?
Like I mentioned earlier, all blinds produced now, will have safety measures already built into them to help prevent against any types of accidents. However, there are certain types of blinds that are more "safety conscious" than others.
Avoid Aluminum or Metallic type blinds
While the cords may not pose as much of a risk any longer, they do still pose the threat of a nasty cut due to sharp edges on the blinds, especially if you have them cut-down and they are not a manufactured edge. If you must have these type blinds, make sure to keep them high enough that children can't reach any of the slats.
Cordless is your friend
Far and wide, this is the best type of blind you can opt for. Not only are these much safer for children, with the exclusion of any type of lift cords, but they also don't require any type of extra safety modifications on your part. You can find cordless designs most commonly on Cellular type blinds, as well as on Real Wood and Roman Shades. As with any other blind though, remember to keep any cribs or beds far enough out of reach of the blinds, as with these, small children may still be able to grab hold and rip fabric.
Cleats and Wraps
For any blinds that you do opt to purchase that may have cords, even with the inclusion of new safety measures, you will want to make sure to get cord wraps or other safety devices to keep the cords high and out of reach from children. Our manufacturers offer cord cleats free of charge with any special order blind that you purchase through us, and most stores will carry them in-stock (please check for availability in your area.) You can also purchase 3rd party devices that will act as cord wraps, or make a quick DIY one with an Eye-screw.
If you have any type of concerns with children and blind safety, please mention them to your local store associate when purchasing blinds, and we can make sure to find you the perfect fit for your home that will keep everyone safe and happy.
And as always, I ask that our community help out by sharing your own tips or stories on blind safety, as well as any further questions that you may have.
Thanks for reading, and see you all around the forums