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Blind Cord Tassels: Are Yours Safe for Kids

Why Blind Cord Safety Matters

As a parent, nothing is more important than keeping your children safe. And one potential hazard that many families don’t think about are the cords on window blinds and shades. While blind cord tassels can look cute and harmless, they can actually pose a serious strangulation risk for young kids if not addressed properly.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), nearly one child per month dies from window blind cord strangulation. From 1996 to 2018 alone, 324 deaths were reported, with nearly 80% involving children under the age of 4. Additionally, about 16,000 children end up in emergency rooms each year due to injuries caused by window blinds and shades.

So how exactly do these cords become so dangerous? The inner pull cords that operate the blinds can form a loop, which kids can easily get caught in if they place it around their necks. And if the cord becomes wrapped around their necks, they can strangle within minutes. Many parents are unaware of this hazard, assuming the cords are harmless or too short to cause any harm. But the truth is, it only takes 5 pounds of pressure on a cord pressed against a child’s windpipe to cut off their air supply.

Another contributing factor is that young kids are often drawn to the looped cords out of curiosity. They may play with the tassels or bat at them, inadvertently wrapping them around their necks without understanding the danger. And because small children often move about rooms pretty quickly, they can become entangled in window cords before a parent even notices what’s happening.

While any window covering cords pose a risk, certain types are more hazardous than others.Looped pull-cords, inner cords, and beaded chains are among the most dangerous. These types of cords are very appealing for kids to play with but can tighten quickly.

On the other hand, safer alternatives include cordless window treatments like Levolor cordless blinds, cellular shades, or Roman shades. Many popular brands like Levolor now offer a wide selection of cordless blinds that provide ease of use for parents while eliminating dangers for kids. These are excellent options for homes with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. You can operate them simply by raising or lowering the blinds themselves, without having to contend with any hazardous pull cords.

For window treatments that do contain cords, there are ways to reduce strangulation risks. Cutting excess cord loops, tying cords together, wrapping them, and securing them to the wall or floor are some DIY solutions. Another option is purchasing cord cleats, clamps, or ties that keep cords tightly wrapped. Caution: Don’t rely on standard cord stops sold with many blinds, as they can still slide apart.

There are also several safety standards to look for when buying window blinds and shades:

  • Cordless is always the safest option.
  • Corded blinds/shades should have inaccessible inner cords.
  • Look for child safety certification labels like Best for Kids or Cordless by Design.
  • Opt for tamper-resistant or tension devices designed to prevent strangulation.
  • Avoid corded Roman shades, roll-up shades, and tie-down cords.

As you can see, there are many precautions parents must take to ward off the hazards of window blind cords. While buying cordless shades is the surest way to protect kids, you may already have existing blinds with cords in your home. In that case, identify any potential safety issues and take proactive measures as mentioned above.

It’s also crucial to educate any caregivers, such as babysitters, grandparents, or daycare providers, about the risks. Show them how your specific window treatments operate safely, like always keeping cords wrapped or tied. And make sure cords and safety devices are not removed over time, which can happen as kids get older and no longer pose as much of a strangulation hazard.

While staying vigilant about blind cord safety at all times, also train kids to stay away from window cords when possible. Let them know the cords could hurt them. Hang cord wraps and cleats out of children’s reach to decrease temptation. And keep furniture away from windows so kids can’t climb and access cords.

Many parents wonder at what age it’s safe to remove window blind cord safety devices. The CPSC recommends keeping cleats and tension devices in place until kids are at least 8-10 years old. By this age, children are more aware of dangers and less likely to accidentally wrap cords around their necks. However, always supervise young kids who are near window cords, and remind tweens and teens to be cautious as well.

In recent years, increased awareness about blind cord safety has led to more cordless options and improved safety standards. While window blinds pose far less of a threat than decades ago, nearly 8 kids per year still die from cord strangulation. So continued precautions are clearly needed.

By understanding the hazards, taking proper safety measures, and teaching children to avoid cords, parents can help prevent tragic accidents. Shop for cordless blinds, install cord cleats, and keep rooms with window cords off-limits to young kids. Staying proactive is key to protecting your most precious family members.

How Blind Cords Can Strangle Children

Blind Cord Tassels: Are Yours Safe for Kids

Window blind cords may seem harmless, but they pose a serious strangulation hazard to young children. Nearly one child per month dies from getting tangled in window blind cords, so all parents must understand how they can fatally injure kids.

Window blinds and shades operate through an inner pulley system of cords and loops. These cords allow the blinds to be raised, lowered, or tilted as needed. However, the free-hanging inner cords can form loops at the ends. If a child inserts their head into these loops, the cords can tighten around their neck as they move about, quickly strangling them.

Why are young children particularly vulnerable to this hazard? Babies and toddlers are very curious and love to grab, swat, and play with hanging cords. But they lack the awareness to understand the danger. Preschoolers like to explore their environment and don’t realize the cords could tighten and choke them. Kids this age are top-heavy with large heads compared to their small bodies, so it’s easy for them to get their heads stuck in blind cord loops.

In addition, young kids tend to move erratically. They may twisting their bodies or running around a room in an instant. If they have already gotten their heads stuck in a looped blind cord, this sudden movement can cause the cord to abruptly tighten around their windpipes. Within minutes, they are unable to breathe and the result can be fatal.

Most deaths occur when young children are supposed to be napping or playing in their bedrooms. A toddler wakes up from a nap and climbs out of their crib, spotting a tempting looped cord nearby. An unsupervised preschooler is playing in their room and wraps a blind cord around their neck while pretending to be a cowboy. When kids are alone and quiet, it provides the perfect opportunity for a cord accident to happen.

Parents also contribute to the risk by underestimating the strangulation danger. Many assume short cords are safe or that their children wouldn’t get tangled in them. But the truth is, it only takes 5 pounds of pressure on a child’s neck to cut off their airway. So even a cord 6 to 7 inches long can be deadly if looped around a child’s delicate neck.

Other contributing household factors include having furniture near windows. This allows little kids access to cords that would normally be out of reach. Also, window blinds that aren’t properly maintained pose more of a hazard. Over time, cord stops or safety devices can break, come loose, or be removed by kids or parents who don’t realize their importance.

To understand just how quickly and silently a strangulation can occur, one chilling demonstration involved a CPR mannequin modified to simulate a child’s neck. When researchers wrapped a corded blind tassel around the mannequin’s neck, it took just seconds for the cord to tighten and start throttling it. This demonstrated how a curious toddler playing with a looped cord can end up fatally injured within minutes while parents are nearby yet unaware.

Another demonstration showed how a window blind death can happen to any family. A simulation was set up using a typical bedroom, crib, corded blinds, and a weighted mannequin representing a toddler. Within only 17 seconds after the “child” got out of the crib and wandered over to the window, the inner cords had tightened around its neck. This reflects how strangulations often occur in kids’ normal home environments when parents momentarily divert their attention.

Raising awareness about these shocking demonstrations is crucial. Many parents simply aren’t aware that everyday window blind cords can turn deadly within seconds. It’s also important to educate caregivers like babysitters, relatives, and daycare providers who may watch children in their homes.

Blind cord safety must become common knowledge to prevent accidents. Tell other parents about the hazards and proper precautions. Share informational articles and videos online. Work to enact safety laws and building codes in your local area. Get involved in outreach programs distributing cord cleats or supplying cordless blinds to families in need.

There are also proactive measures parents must take at home. Install cord cleats, wraps, and tension devices to keep cords secured out of children’s reach. Cut excess cord loops or tie cords together. Replace hazardous corded blinds with safer cordless options. Never attach cribs, beds, or furniture below windows with accessible cords. Supervise young kids at all times around window blinds. Teach older children to stay away from cords.

While complete vigilance is difficult, increased awareness and proper safety devices can help eliminate these preventable tragedies. With some simple steps, parents can enjoy the functionality of window blinds without endangering their beloved children.

Understanding how strangulations occur arms parents with the knowledge to keep kids safe. Spread the word, make changes in your home, and help prevent future heartbreaking accidents. Working together to eradicate corded window blind hazards will save children’s lives.

Warning Signs of Unsafe Blind Cords

Blind Cord Tassels: Are Yours Safe for Kids

Window blinds with cords can pose a strangulation hazard to young children. While cordless blinds are safest, many existing blinds still contain dangerous inner pull cords. Watch for these warning signs to identify unsafe window blind cords in your home.

  • Looped pull cords – Any inner cord with a loop at the end can tighten around a child’s neck.
  • Long inner cords – Cords over 6 inches long have more potential to wrap around a child’s neck if tangled.
  • Damaged cord stops – Broken or missing cord stops allow inner cords to hang loosely.
  • Makeshift or missing safety devices – Cleats, ties, and tension devices must be sturdy and properly installed.
  • Furniture near windows – Beds, cribs, and other furniture allow kids access to blind cords.
  • Cords hanging loose – Inner cords should be tightly wrapped, tied, or secured when not in use.
  • Kids in rooms with unsupervised cords – Any room where kids play should have cords firmly secured.
  • Cords able to slide through cord stops – Standard cord stops can come apart, allowing a loop to form.
  • Broken blind slats – Damaged blinds mean cords aren’t working properly and can hang loosely.
  • Roman, roll-up, and cellular shades – These often have hazardous inner cords and loops.

Pay close attention to the location of window blind cords as well. Cords hanging near cribs, beds, furniture, or play areas pose the greatest risk for accidental strangulation. Areas where young children sleep, play, or frequently spend time unattended should be top priorities for safety improvements.

Also examine the type of cord tassels or pulls on your blinds. Contained tassel wands are safer than looped bead chains that can wrap tightly around a child’s neck. Opt for wands with tension devices to prevent loops from forming. And check that any loops are very small, preferably under 3 inches.

When purchasing new blinds or shades, look for specific safety certifications on packaging:

  • Cordless – Safest choice for homes with young kids.
  • Best for Kids – Certified cordless or cord safety.
  • Cordless by Design- Guaranteed cordless window covering.

Avoid styles with inner cords, bead chains, or hazardous loops. Also check that safety testing meets the latest standards, such as ASTM F3101-21 or ANSI/WCMA-2018.

For existing blinds, address any safety issues immediately. Cut loops, wrap excess cord around cleats, replace damaged cord stops, and secure cords tightly out of children’s reach. Consider replacing old corded blinds with new cordless or auto-retracting options designed for safety.

Talk to manufacturers about retrofitting products if needed. For example, many Levolor blinds can be fit with aftermarket tension devices to prevent cord loops. Take advantage of free cord repair kits offered by some companies as well.

Correcting blind cord hazards requires diligence too. Over time, cords may come loose, stops get damaged, and safety devices removed. So continue monitoring all window blinds in your home on a regular basis. Don’t let safety become lax as kids get older and you remove anchors or cord wraps.

Educating kids is crucial too. Tell toddlers and preschoolers not to play with cords. Show older kids how to keep cords securely tied when using blinds. Supervise young children so you can intervene immediately if they start looping cords around their necks while playing.

Prevention is key to avoiding tragedy. Examine all blinds for the warning signs above. Take proactive steps like replacing corded blinds, installing cord cleats, and teaching children cord safety. Your vigilance can prevent a devastating accident.

Stay alert about common hazards like blind cords wrapping around crib slats or hanging near furniture. Keep safety devices in good condition and properly installed. Eliminate loops, wrap cords tightly, and keep play areas cord-free. With simple fixes, your existing blinds can be safe for kids.

Staying informed, taking proper precautions, and teaching children cord safety from a young age will prevent future strangulations. Remove the looped cords, beads, and unnecessary risks from your home to protect your most precious family members.

Federal Standards for Safer Blind Cords

To help reduce strangulation risks from window blinds, federal safety standards and testing protocols have been implemented over the years. These regulations establish requirements for safer blind cords and child safety devices.

In 1994, the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) published the first standard, ANSI/WCMA A100.1. It introduced use of inner cord stops on blinds to prevent hazardous loops. However, looped pull cords were still permitted at the bottom.

After many deaths occurred from inner cords and bottom loops, an improved standard was adopted in 2018 – ANSI/WCMA A100.1-2018. Key enhancements included:

  • No operating cords over 8 inches long when fully extended.
  • Pre-installed tension devices to eliminate hazardous inner cord loops.
  • Safety testing requirements for cordless lifts.

The most recent standard is the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) F3101-21. It expands testing requirements to cover all common window covering cords:

  • Continuous loop operating systems.
  • Operating cords and inner cords.
  • Beaded chains and cord loops.
  • Ladders, lifting loops, and exposed cords.
  • Any accessible hazardous cords or loops.

ASTM F3101 also prohibits any operating cord or inner cord forming a hazardous loop of 5 inches or larger. And it applies to a broader range of products including roller shades, pleated shades, and Roman shades.

In addition, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) oversees regulations and recalls of hazardous window blinds that fail safety standards. The CPSC has recalled over 5 million Roman shades and described corded blinds as one of the top hidden hazards in US homes.

Several voluntary safety certifications also exist for window blinds:

  • Best for Kids certification – Verifies cordless blinds or cord safety.
  • Cordless by Design – Guarantees a cordless product.

When purchasing blinds, look for these certifications along with compliance to the latest ASTM or ANSI/WCMA standards. Cordless blinds are always the safest choice.

For existing blinds, check for any manufacturer recalls on corded products. Request free repair kits if available. Add tension devices, cleats, and cord wraps to secure cords and prevent hazardous loops. Replace corded blinds in children’s rooms with cordless alternatives if possible.

For DIY solutions, cut any loops, tie cords together, and anchor them to the wall or floor. Wrap excess cord around custom cord cleats. Use Velcro-type cord wraps to bundle together. Securely mount cords out of children’s reach.

When installing safety devices, follow manufacturer instructions carefully. Use sturdy hardware, don’t substitute parts, and don’t rig your own devices. Remember, window blinds are under tension and suspending weight, so amateur repairs can easily fail.

Check devices frequently for signs of wear or damage. Cords may come loose over time, stops can crack, and tension devices loosen. So re-secure any loose cords and replace damaged parts immediately.

To prevent strangulations, the CPSC also warns against placing cribs, beds, and furniture near windows. Keeping play areas and sleeping zones away from corded blinds reduces the hazard. Install cordless cellular shades in nurseries or a toddler’s room when possible.

Teaching children cord safety is crucial too. Show young kids how blind cords can hurt them and to stay away. Demonstrate proper use of cords to older children – always wrap securely when done. Keep kids under supervision in rooms with corded blinds.

While standards and safety devices help reduce risks, parental vigilance is still required. Preventing access, securing cords properly, and supervising children prevents tragedy. Follow all safety guidelines, replace hazardous products, and use cordless blinds in children’s rooms whenever feasible.

Ongoing improvements in regulations and testing aim to eventually eliminate blind cord dangers. But for now, informed parents must take action to protect kids. Follow the latest safety standards, add cord cleats and wraps, and replace old corded blinds. Your proper installation and supervision can prevent heartbreaking accidents.

DIY Ways to Shorten Blind Cords

Blind Cord Tassels: Are Yours Safe for Kids

To prevent child strangulations, experts recommend keeping blind cords very short. While cordless blinds are ideal, you can also shorten cords on existing window blinds as a DIY project.

First, identify any dangerously long pull cords, inner cords, or loops. Any cord longer than 6 inches has potential to wrap around a child’s neck. Look for inner cords hanging loosely and looped bead chains or tassels.

Before shortening, retract the blinds fully and tie cords together to keep them from tangling inside. Use cable ties, twist ties, or sturdy string/cord to temporarily bind them.

To measure, extend each cord to its maximum length when the blinds are fully lowered or rotated. Mark the safe 6 inch length with tape or a marker. Carefully cut off any excess cord below the tape, making sure not to pull inner cords out of the blind slats.

For looped pull cords, trace the loop then cut through opposite sides to create two short ends rather than a choking hazard loop. Knot or fuse the ends so they don’t unravel.

Consider investing in a cord shortener tool which melts cord ends after cutting to prevent fraying. Or use a lighter briefly to melt the tips – but take precautions as this can be a fire hazard.

If cutting looped bead chains, you may need pliers to crimp metal ends and stop beads sliding off. Again, apply heat or adhesive to seal the ends securely.

Once all cords are shortened, remove your temporary ties and fully extend the blinds again. Test functionality and carefully check that no inner cords were accidentally pulled out during the process.

Re-tie each outer pull cord about 6 inches down from the headrail, leaving just short ends hanging. This prevents long outer cords while maintaining inner cord functionality.

For Roman shades with inner cords, sew through layers to create small, spaced channels. Feed each shortened inner cord through its own channel to keep organized and taut. Knot ends and glue in place.

Consider adding extra safety devices as well, like cleats, cord winders, and tension pulleys. Mount them out of children’s reach to secure shortened inner cords.

When shortening corded blinds yourself, be very careful not to cut looped cords so only one side is severed. This creates a dangerous new loop rather than eliminating the hazard. Always cut through opposite sides of any loop.

Also take care with metal bead cords or chained loops. Crimp ends securely so cut metal pieces don’t slide off, creating new loops. Plastic end caps add an extra safeguard.

Limit the number of pull cords – two at most are needed. Cut off and discard any extra cords to reduce clutter and hazards.

If you don’t feel comfortable with DIY shortening, call the blind manufacturer for guidance or to request custom alterations. For newer blinds, retrofit kits may be available to replace cords with safer tension pulleys or wands.

Proper installation is critical for child safety. Follow all standard window blind instructions carefully when re-hanging shortened blinds.

Maintain safety over time too. Check modified cords periodically for any loosening, fraying, orlooping. Re-secure and re-shorten any problem cords immediately.

While DIY shortening helps, replacement cordless blinds are the ultimate solution. For kids’ rooms, upgrade old corded blinds to newer cordless versions whenever possible.

With some simple tools and proper precautions, you can eliminate the choking hazard posed by long blind cords. Measure and cut cords to 6 inches or less, fuse ends to prevent fraying, and add safety devices. Your DIY alterations can help keep children safe.

Retrofitting Blinds with Cord Cleats

Blind Cord Tassels: Are Yours Safe for Kids

To secure hazardous blind cords, parents can retrofit existing window blinds with safety cord cleats. Properly mounted cleats keep cords taut and out of children’s reach.

Cord cleats are inexpensive devices that anchor cords flush against a window frame or wall. They have a channel where pull cords feed through. Spring-loaded clips grab and lock the cords firmly in place.

This prevents inner cords from hanging loosely in dangerous loops. And it takes any tension off outer pull cords, eliminating a strangulation risk.

When selecting cleats, look for sturdy metal models designed for window blind cords. Plastic cleats could break under the continual tension. Opt for cleats large enough to hold multiple cords if needed.

Before installation, gather any tools you’ll need:

  • Cleats
  • Screwdriver
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Level
  • Power drill and hardware

Then follow these steps for proper cleat placement and installation:

  1. With blinds fully lowered, pull cords to their maximum length.
  2. Choose a mounting spot about 5-6 feet off the floor, safely out of children’s reach.
  3. Position the cleat 2-3 inches above the cord ends when fully extended.
  4. Hold the cleat in place, mark holes with pencil.
  5. Drill holes slightly larger than screw size to allow adjustments.
  6. Attach cleat securely using wall anchors if needed.
  7. Thread cords through the cleat channel in a straight line.
  8. Pull cords taut so inner cords are secure and outer cords have no slack.
  9. Snap cleat closure down to lock cords tightly in place.

For vertical blinds, install a cord cleat on each side of the window. Feed cords coming from both directions into the matching cleat.

On Roman shades, mount a row of cleats in a line to hold each inner lift cord. This keeps all cords organized and securely in place.

Make sure cords pull straight in a taut line to the cleat, with no opportunity for looping. Do not crisscross cords or allow excess slack.

Periodically check cleats to ensure cords are held tightly. Replace any damaged parts immediately. Cords may come loose over time as inner stops wear or blinds fall out of alignment.

For an added safeguard, tie cords together 6 inches below the cleat. This prevents long outer cords while retaining inner cord functionality.

Also consider supplemental devices like cord wraps and tassel ties to bundle loose ends. Use these above the cleat for tidiness and visibility.

Caution: Do not install cleats with loose inner cords. First repair or replace any defective cord stop mechanisms. Cord cleats are not intended to restrain freely hanging loops.

While cord cleats enhance safety, supervision is still required around blinds. Teach children to keep hands off cords and make sure cleats stay in good condition.

For best protection, replace old corded blinds with new cordless styles. But retrofitted cleats are an effective safeguard if existing blinds must stay.

With some basic hardware and proper placement, parents can easily install cord cleats on most standard blinds. Keep inner cords secure and eliminate outer cord risks. Give kids a safer environment.

Choosing Cordless Blinds for Safety

Cordless window blinds and shades are the safest choice for homes with infants, toddlers, and young children. When selecting cordless blinds, consider these key factors:

Style

Many styles are now available cordless, including:

  • Cordless cellular shades – Operate with lift rods in the rails.
  • Cordless pleated shades – Lift from the bottom or with embedded cords.
  • Cordless panel track blinds – Panels glide side to side easily.
  • Cordless Roman shades – Lift evenly using lift bands.
  • Cordless roller shades – Roll up with spring assistance.

Cellular and pleated shades provide insulation. Panels allow variable light control. Roller shades offer simple operation. Choose the style that best fits your windows and needs.

Safe Operation

Look for easy, smooth lifting operations:

  • Wand or rod lifts – Safer than any cords.
  • Motorization – Electric motors provide effortless use.
  • Retractable lift cords – Cords are not accessible.
  • Continuous loop cords – Avoids inner cord hazards.

Spring assists, lift bands, and embedded cords can also operate safely without dangling hazards.

Child Safety Features

Blind Cord Tassels: Are Yours Safe for Kids

Ensure any cords are inaccessible:

  • Cord encasements – Fully enclosed cords.
  • Cord guides – Keeps inner cords secure.
  • Cord cleats – Locks cords against a wall.
  • Cordless design – Guaranteed no hazardous cords.

Also look for tamper-resistant features so kids can’t undo safeguards.

Certifications

Choose blinds certified for safety:

  • Best for Kids – Verifies cordless or cord safety.
  • Cordless by Design – Confirms cordless.
  • ANSI/WCMA – Meets industry standards.
  • ASTM – Passed safety tests.

Reputable brands like Levolor indicate certification compliance on packaging.

Quality and Durability

Consider material and construction:

  • Aluminum, vinyl, composite materials last longer.
  • Reinforced corners prevent tearing.
  • Smooth operation from quality components.
  • Moisture-resistant for bathrooms.
  • Withstands pets, kids, frequent use.

Investing in better quality ensures safety and convenience for years.

Window Size and Shape

Blind Cord Tassels: Are Yours Safe for Kids

Measure windows carefully before ordering:

  • Inside mount – Fits within window frames.
  • Outside mount – Covers frame and wall.
  • Exact dimensions – For perfect light control.
  • Block light gaps – With sufficient overlap.

Cordless styles are available in many custom sizes and shapes.

The right cordless blinds allow easy use by adults while keeping children safe from strangulation hazards. Carefully select styles with smooth operation, child safety features, and proven durability. Investing in high quality cordless window treatments gives peace of mind.

Adding Tension Devices to Existing Cords

To eliminate hazardous loops, parents can retrofit old blinds with new tension devices. These tools apply continuous tension to keep cords taut.

Loose, dangling cords pose the greatest strangulation risk to children. When inner cords aren’t held taut, loops can form. Tension devices remove this slack, so cords remain straight and tight.

Many blinds come with pre-installed tension devices. But for existing blinds, adding aftermarket products helps enhance safety.

How do they work? Tension devices attach to the headrail and apply light pressure against the cord. This gently pulls the cord tight so it can’t form loops along its length or at the ends. Some operate with spring mechanisms, while others use locking wheels.

To add tension devices yourself, first determine how many you need. Each inner cord on the blind requires a separate device. Multiple devices can mount on the headrail, properly spaced apart.

Measure the headrail length and cord spacing to calculate the correct quantity and placement. Also account for any outer lift cords.

When purchasing, choose brands specifically designed to retrofit your blind make and model. Many manufacturers like Levolor sell custom tensioner kits for their blinds.

Follow the product instructions carefully regarding mounting, cord connections, and adjustments. Use all included hardware and do not substitute parts.

Install each device in the proper location on the headrail. Pull cords taut and tie off any excess before securing them to the tensioner. Test operation and manually turn or slide devices to apply optimal tension.

For vertical blinds, install a tension device at the top and bottom of each inner carrier cord. Feed cords through both devices to remain straight and secure.

Over time, periodically test cords to ensure they remain tight. Adjust tensioners as needed to eliminate any new slack. Keep devices properly maintained.

Caution: Do not rely on tension devices if inner cord stop mechanisms are damaged. Fix defective stops first, then apply tensioners to fully restored cords.

While tension devices improve safety, cordless blinds are still the ultimate solution. In children’s rooms, replace corded blinds whenever possible.

With combination cords, add a cord cleat 6 inches below the tension device. This keeps outer cords short while permitting inner cords to operate.

Teach kids to keep hands off blind cords, supervise children near windows, and promptly fix any damaged parts. Tensioners aren’t foolproof.

Proper installation is key. Mount tension devices precisely, connect cords securely, and test thoroughly before use. Your retrofits help reduce a leading hidden household danger.

By applying constant pressure, tension devices on inner cords maintain safe alignments. Straight, taut cords cannot loop or wrap around kids’ necks. Upgrading old blinds is a wise, preventative measure.

Using Twist Cords and Tie-Down Devices

Avoiding hazardous cords dangling freely, parents can install twist cords or tie-down devices on existing blinds. These tools keep cords neatly secured.

Twist cords are short, twisted rope cords with plastic attachments on each end. They allow you to wrap up longer cords to keep tidy and out of reach.

To install, determine the ideal length to keep inner cords secure while removing outer cord slack. Attach one end of the twist cord below that point on the pull cords.

Raise blinds fully, pulling cords taut. Carefully wind the cords around the twist cord to shorten their exposed length. Attach the upper twist cord end 6 inches down from the headrail.

Twist or coil the twist cord to neatly contain the wrapped pull cords. Test blinds to ensure inner cords still operate properly despite being partially wrapped.

Position a twist cord on either side for wider blinds. For vertical blinds, use one twist cord at the far left and far right to capture all traverse cords.

Tab tie-down devices work similarly, using Velcro-style straps to bind cords. Wrap inner cords first, then outer cords around the tab.

Look for sturdy metal tie-downs designed for window blinds. Avoid breakable plastic versions.

When installing, first mount the tie-down base on the wall or window frame. Raise blinds fully and pull cords taut.

Wrap inner cords around the base tightly, with no loose slack. Stick the Velcro tab in place to secure them.

Then wrap outer cords around the bundle and stick the tab down again firmly. Check cords periodically and re-secure any loosening.

Cord cleats or tension pulleys work well in combination with twist cords or tie-downs. Use them higher up to eliminate inner cord risks.

Proper installation is key – mount devices securely and always maintain tight wraps. Do not allow any opportunity for cords to become loose.

With twist cords, rotate coils periodically to evenly distribute wear and prevent loosening. Replace immediately if plastic attachments crack.

For maximum safety, upgrade old corded blinds in children’s rooms to new cordless styles whenever possible.

While supervised use is still required, twist cords and tie-downs keep cords neat, short, and contained. Reduce hazards with simple, inexpensive products.

By bundling cords together, parents can guard against neck entrapments. Children are also less tempted to play with secured cords. Responsible use of twist ties and tie-downs prevents tragic accidents.

Replacing Dangerous Cords with Safer Alternatives

Blind Cord Tassels: Are Yours Safe for Kids

To eliminate the top hidden hazard in homes, parents can replace risky corded blinds with safer cordless or cord-free alternatives.

Any window blinds with looped pull cords, inner cords, or bead chains pose a potential strangulation danger to young children. But fortunately, safer options exist.

Consider replacing old blinds with these safer cordless styles:

  • Cordless cellular shades – Eliminate inner cords.
  • Cordless pleated shades – Embed cords or use lift bands.
  • Cordless panel tracks – Glide smoothly without cords.
  • Cordless Roman shades – Lift evenly with bands.
  • Cordless roller shades – Roll up with spring assistance.

Other cord-free alternatives include:

  • Fixed window panels – No cords needed.
  • Shutters – Adjust with hinges and louvers.
  • Curtains – Open and close manually.
  • Blinds with wand control – Safer than cord loops.
  • Remote controlled blinds – Eliminate cord risks.

When selecting replacements, certified cordless blinds are ideal. Look for:

  • Cordless by Design certification – Guaranteed cordless.
  • Best for Kids certification – Verifies safety.
  • Compliance with ANSI/WCMA standards.

Measure windows carefully to get a custom fit with your new cordless blinds or shades. Inside mounts fit within frames, while outside mounts cover frames for optimal light control.

Consider durability too. Vinyl, composite, or aluminum materials last longer than cheaper plastic blinds. Investing in quality ensures safety and convenience.

Install any new window treatments properly by carefully following all instructions. For cordless blinds, make sure lift bands, spring mechanisms, and embedded cords operate smoothly.

While upgrades provide protection, supervision around windows is still advised. Also teach kids not to play with wands or climb on window treatments.

If purchasing new blinds isn’t feasible, consider DIY ways to secure or remove cords on existing blinds:

  • Shorten cords – Cut excess length to reduce risk.
  • Secure cords – Wrap securely around cleats.
  • Add safety devices – Apply tension pulleys or cord covers.
  • Remove cords – Detach pull cords if possible.

Take proactive steps now to protect your most precious family members. Replacing old hazardous blinds enhances safety and peace of mind.