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Retailers Take Part in Nationwide Safety Effort -- Educating Parents on the Potential Hazards of Window Blind Cords


NEW YORK, Oct. 3 -- A month-long safety campaign kicked off Oct. 1 to raise awareness of the potential strangulation hazards that window cords can pose to young children. The window covering industry and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission are urging parents to replace or retrofit miniblinds and corded window coverings purchased before 2001 with today’s safer products.

According to information provided by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, since 1991 more than 175 infants and young children have died from accidental window cord strangulations.

Since millions of older corded window coverings still exist in homes, retailers like Big Lots, Pier 1 Imports and Target Corp. are taking part in the safety campaign by alerting new parents to the potential dangers of window cords. Other retailers, such as the JC Penney Corp., regularly train their staff on ways to educate consumers about window cord safety.

The Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC), a coalition of major U.S. manufacturers, importers and retailers of window coverings that promotes window-cord safety and provides free retrofit kits to consumers, is coordinating the industry’s cord-safety efforts.

National Window Covering Safety Month will emphasize the following basic window-cord safety rules from WCSC:

-- Move all cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from windows and window cords, preferably to another wall.

-- Keep all window pull cords and inner lift cords out of the reach of children. Make sure that tasseled pull cords are short, that continuous-loop cords are permanently anchored to the floor or wall and that cord stops are properly installed and adjusted to limit movement of inner lift cords.

-- Lock cords into position whenever horizontal blinds or shades are lowered, including when they come to rest on a windowsill.

-- Consider installing cordless window coverings in children’s bedrooms and play areas.

-- Replace window blinds, corded shades and draperies manufactured before 2001 with today’s safer products or retrofit them with cord-retrofit devices.

Details on ordering free retrofit devices are available by calling WCSC’s toll-free phone line at 1-800-506-4636, or through WCSC’s Web site -- Also on the site, consumers can find additional safety tips and additional information on how retailers and manufacturers are involved in the month-long campaign.


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