A new industry-wide standard will limit the production of corded blinds due to the risk of child strangulation. Beginning December 15, consumers will primarily be able to buy window covers that do not have a cord or have a short cord that is inaccessible to children, in accordance with the new voluntary standard.
According to a news release published by the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) Thursday, all window coverings produced and sold moving forward must either be cordless or have short cords that are inaccessible to children. Parents can look for the “Best for Kids” certification label on window coverings to make sure the product complies with the new requirement, which was approved last January.
“[Corded stock] products account for more than 80 percent of all window covering products sold in the U.S. and CPSC incident data shows that requiring these products to be cordless or have inaccessible cords would have the most significant and immediate impact on reducing the strangulation risk to young children,” said Ralph Vasami, executive director of the Window Covering Manufacturers Association.
The historic industrywide shift comes after the CPSC named corded window coverings one of the top five hidden hazards in homes. Between 2012 and 2017, there were 50 reported fatalities from cord strangulation among young children.
There is one exception to the new safety standard. Consumers, particularly those who are elderly or who have disabilities, will still be able to custom order corded window coverings. However, even those orders have new restrictions—the cords should only be 40 percent as long as the height of the blinds and they should use a tilt wand instead of a cord.
While the CPSC urges any parents who currently have corded blinds to replace them with a less dangerous alternative, the agency also provides a list of tips on their website on how to keep children safe around cords. They recommend keeping cords out of reach of kids, installing cord stops and moving cribs or beds away from the window.
Correction: Fatherly previously stated that this new industry standard was a CPSC ban. While CPSC supports the ANSI/WCMA A100.1-2018 standard, this is not standard that was made mandatory by CPSC.