Windows pose a myriad of risks to young children. Identifying these risks is an essential step in preventing window-related tragedies.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), there is on average, one death per month related to blind strings. Strangulation can occur if an unsupervised child gains access to these strings. There are three key steps taken at Aurora Military Housing to help decrease the risk of injury or death due to blinds.
1) No Looped Pull Cords
Pull cords for blinds in our homes are separated; using two individual tassels instead of one. Note that these strings can still become tangled and pose a risk, however the risk (loop) is not built into the structure of the blinds.
2) Blind String Holders
These small pieces of plastic affix to the side of the window, allowing for strings to be tightly wrapped around them when blinds are lifted. By wrapping up blind strings when a blind is raised, the chance of a child reaching or accessing the string is reduced. We have these readily available at the U-Fix-It should one in your home break.
3) Blind Stops
Blind stops are small pieces of plastic that attach to the blind strings. When a blind is lowered, these sit roughly two inches below the top of the blind. These help reduce the risk of strangulation from internal blind strings. Should a child pull on an internal string, the blind stop helps ensure the opening doesn’t get too large.
STEPS YOU CAN TAKE
While there are many ways in which products help reduce the risk of danger, there is no safety measure greater than parental supervision and due diligence.
- Check blind strings regularly and remove knots or tangles.
- Ensure blind stops are located on all blinds.
- Ensure blind string holders are located on all windows (and replace at the U-Fix-It if you find one that’s broken).
- Ensure all members of your family utilize blind string holders when raising blinds.
- Report broken or damaged blinds to maintenance.
- Plastic pieces at the bottom of strings help create visibility of blind strings, however they can be choking hazards- use blind string holders to keep these out of the reach of children.
- Never leave children unsupervised in a room for any period of time.
Falls from windows account for a number of child deaths and thousands of injuries per year. Falls are usually preventable; these suggestions will help reduce the risk of a child falling from a window.
- Position furniture away from windows to prevent climbing.
- Keep windows closed when not in use.
- Some windows can be opened from the top or bottom. Opening windows from the top helps keep the opening out of reach of children.
- Always supervise children, especially around open windows.