NEW YORK (May 2007) With the blockbuster film "Spider-Man 3" swinging into movie theaters this week, parents and caregivers should take care that children do not attempt to impersonate the superhero by swinging from window cords. Curious little ones are likely unaware that window cords can be a potential strangulation hazard.
According to information provided by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, since 1990 more than 200 infants and young children have died from accidentally strangling in window cords.
The Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) is reminding parents to keep their children safe by following these simple tips:
Install 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. Consumers wishing to retrofit rather than replace their older window coverings can order free retrofit devices through WCSC's Web site atwww.windowcoverings.org or by phone at (800) 506-4636.
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 and continuous-loop cords are permanently anchored to the floor or wall. Make sure 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.
The Window Covering Safety Council is a coalition of major U.S. manufacturers, importers and retailers of window coverings. The Council has been instrumental in the industry's redesign of corded products, supporting the national ANSI/WCMA standard for the safety of corded window coverings, and encouraging the use of cordless products in children's rooms and play areas.
Consumers wishing to retrofit rather than replace their older window coverings can order free retrofit devices through WCSC's Web site or toll-free phone line (both listed above).