October is a busy month for safety awareness.
It is National Window Covering Safety Month, a very good time to raise awareness of this hidden hazard and to educate parents and caregivers on this hidden hazard.
It is so important to check your window coverings for exposed or dangling cords, which could pose a strangulation hazard to infants and young children. Both CPSC and the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) urge any home with small children to replace them with cordless window coverings or those with inaccessible cords.
Fortunately, there are choices available in the market. The window covering industry recently launched Best for Kids, a certification program to help make window coverings that are suitable for homes with young children easier to identify. Additionally, parents and caregivers should follow these best practices when it comes to window coverings in your home:
- The best option is to install only cordless window coverings in homes with young children.
- If you choose to have corded window coverings in your house, follow these steps to lower the strangulation risk to your child:
- Keep all window covering cords well out of the reach of children.
- Move and keep all furniture, cribs, beds and climbable surfaces away from windows.
- Make sure pull cords are adjusted to be as short as possible.
- Continuous-loop pull cords on draperies, roller shades, and vertical blinds must be pulled tight and anchored to the floor or wall with a tension device.
- Be sure “cord stops,” a washer-like device used to prevent a dangerous cord loop from being pulled out of an inner cord, are installed properly. Cord stops should be adjusted to limit movement on inner cords of blinds and shades.
October also means Halloween! It is a time of great fun for kids, and let’s face it, many adults. Here are some safety steps:
- Prevent fires and burns by making sure costumes and accessories are flame-retardant and use battery operated candles and lights instead of those with open flames.
- Make sure to trim outfits with reflective tape and carry flashlights or glow sticks when trick-or-treating after dusk.
- Make sure costumes fit well to avoid tripping and falls.
Lastly, this weekend ends daylight savings time. As you “fall back”, it is a good time to put fresh batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Smoke alarms should be on every level of the home, inside each bedroom, and outside sleeping areas. Carbon Monoxide alarms should be installed on every level and outside sleeping areas as well. These simple measures will go a long way in helping keep your family safe.