The Dangers of Corded Window Treatments - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 43 Old 06-21-2005, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Most people are not aware of the 8 WAYS that a child can die from corded window treatments!!

Please go to www.pfwbs.org and learn how to keep your child safe!

Learn from these families and please pass this website along to everyone! (Don't forget grandparents!!)

It's so heartbreaking what happened to these children. Let's do everything we can to keep this from happening to another child!!
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#2 of 43 Old 06-21-2005, 11:17 PM
 
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Thanks for sharing!

Liz~A wife and homeschooling mother to two gifts from God!
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#3 of 43 Old 06-22-2005, 12:40 AM
 
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That's heartbreaking. I just bought a new home and was shopping for roman shades. I may have to rethink that......
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#4 of 43 Old 06-22-2005, 04:12 AM
 
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Thank you for posting this. I encourage an x-post to Activism, as this is really an underreported risk.

For those who can't readily change over to different window treatments, you can find inner-cord stoppers and metal cord anchors for free at Home Depot (or at least we found them at our nearby store). They were sitting in a box near the venetian miniblinds.

Another simple precaution is to lift the plastic tassel by several inches, tie a knot and then cut the excess to shorten the cords out of a toddler's reach.
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#5 of 43 Old 06-22-2005, 01:21 PM
 
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That site says those safety kits don't really make them safe
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#6 of 43 Old 06-22-2005, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by late-night nan
Thank you for posting this. I encourage an x-post to Activism, as this is really an underreported risk.

For those who can't readily change over to different window treatments, you can find inner-cord stoppers and metal cord anchors for free at Home Depot (or at least we found them at our nearby store). They were sitting in a box near the venetian miniblinds.

Another simple precaution is to lift the plastic tassel by several inches, tie a knot and then cut the excess to shorten the cords out of a toddler's reach.
Except that the website referenced above says that all of these are hazards, too. I am a bit frustrated because have a house full of all different kinds of blinds, all installed one year before our 2 yr old was born. We cannot afford to replace them so we just have to anchor the cords up high and be very, very aware of where dd is at all times. Thank god for a small house!

A short rant: I wish sites like that would offer some suggestions instead of only trying to scare us. It is a small risk, by the way, not a huge one. More children die in cars daily by far.
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#7 of 43 Old 06-22-2005, 05:24 PM
 
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I went out and replaced all our blinds with cheap curtains today....Thank you for the link!

Eden yikes.gif, working on a PhD in Education mama to Laurelleshamrocksmile.gif (16), Orijoy.gif (6), Yarrowfaint.gif (4) and Linusfly-by-nursing1.gif (1) partner to Brice. 
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#8 of 43 Old 06-22-2005, 05:34 PM
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Boongirl... I followed one of the links and someone suggested redi shades as a safe and very cheap (less than $10 Canadian per window) alternative. These are sold as temporary shades, but I've heard good reviews of them and that some people are happy to have them up for 2+ years. We've ordered 5 of them b/c of this thread. You can see more about them and where to buy them here: http://www.redishade.com/.

Thanks for posting!!!
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#9 of 43 Old 06-23-2005, 12:44 AM
 
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I just finished removing mini blinds from both boys' rooms and the living room. Tomorrow I will remove blinds from the kitchen and our bedroom. I am getting Redi-shades from Lowe's tomorrow. No more cords in our house! One less thing to worry about.
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#10 of 43 Old 06-23-2005, 01:27 AM
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jake&zaxmom, Would you mind posting a review of the redi-shades since others here may be interested in them and I'd like to compare notes. Ours are in the mail. We ordered black out ones and fabric ones. Hopefully they'll be here by the week-end.
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#11 of 43 Old 06-23-2005, 09:34 AM
 
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OMG i am looking around my house at all the cords tucked away on top of hanging pics etc,how niave was i thinking I had made it safe for my children.after reading those heartbreaking stories i just want to run around my house and rip them all down ,evry two weeks!!!something has to be done to change that awful fact!!
thank you for sharing,I will be sure to show DH this too,
for all those precious lives lost,

Natasha,Mum to many.
"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." ~ Sir Winston Churchill
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#12 of 43 Old 06-23-2005, 09:38 AM
 
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I found redi-shades type shades at Target today!!! I didn't buy any but thought someone might want to know!

Eden yikes.gif, working on a PhD in Education mama to Laurelleshamrocksmile.gif (16), Orijoy.gif (6), Yarrowfaint.gif (4) and Linusfly-by-nursing1.gif (1) partner to Brice. 
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#13 of 43 Old 06-23-2005, 09:42 AM
 
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thanks for that,target is two minutes down the street,i'm going as soon as Griff wakes up:0)

Natasha,Mum to many.
"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." ~ Sir Winston Churchill
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#14 of 43 Old 06-23-2005, 10:00 AM
 
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On the Redi Shades site, they have craft ideas with them. Now I'm all excited about replacing the blinds in our new house! If I do a good job, we'll have designer-looking blinds. If not, well, they're inexpensive enough to get another and try again.

Lisa , mom to Isaac (9/1/03), Violet (6/19/06), Simon (10/9/09); wife to Eric ; handservant to Grace :
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#15 of 43 Old 06-23-2005, 11:13 AM
 
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We have Redi-shades (just the plain white ones) in our living room and dining room. Put them up as temporary window covers when we moved here almost 3 years ago, and I still haven't got around to replacing them (nice window treatments for those rooms still aren't in our budget). They've stayed up fine and really don't look bad, though I don't know how well they would hold up if we were raising and lowering them regularly - we more or less leave them where they are.

FWIW, I think it's fine to tie knots and shorten blind cords in areas where you know your child will be supervised. We did that in our old house, in the master bedroom, because DD was never in there without me - by the time she was mobile, we had gates at the top & bottom of the stairs, and there was no way I was leaving her anywhere upstairs alone where she could crawl into the bathroom, etc unsupervised. A little bit of common sense goes a long way towards averting such disasters.
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#16 of 43 Old 06-26-2005, 06:17 PM
 
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I found cordless roman shades!!!!

JC Penny of all places:
cordless shades

of course none of them fit my windows....
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#17 of 43 Old 06-26-2005, 11:08 PM
 
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Don't you think it's a little paranoid to run out and buy all new window treatments when there are less than 20 deaths a year from this? There are real threats in the world and even in our homes, and something that 7-17 kids a year die of is not the top concern on my list, or even worth $100 (for 10 new $10 blinds that might last 2 years). If you have a 1 yr. old who's into everything and frequently unsupervised, get the cord up and out of the way. For those of us with older kids with good common sense and adequate supervision, I think we can worry about more likely death threats to our children (like cars, animals, fire, etc).
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#18 of 43 Old 06-27-2005, 12:14 AM
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Hotmamma, clearly you didn't follow the link. Just getting the cord up and out of the way is not enough. There are other ways the blinds can be dangerous and life-threatening. It is a small and relatively easy to fix safety threat. In my case our blinds were also fugly and ragged. Replacing them saves us from one more thing to worry about. How many children die from dressers falling on them? Does this mean I shouldn't bother to attach mine to the walls to prevent this? How many are poisoned to death? Should I only worry about the leading causes of death and serious harm to my child?
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#19 of 43 Old 06-27-2005, 02:37 PM
 
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You attached your dresser to the wall? Wow.
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#20 of 43 Old 06-27-2005, 04:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hottmama
You attached your dresser to the wall? Wow.
Uh, it takes a few screws and a strap or two. It's not exactly swaddling your kid in bubble wrap before letting them play in the yard. If it were a choice between attaching dressers to the wall (or getting cordless blinds) or putting my child in a car seat, then, yes, I do agree that car accidents are the bigger danger. Luckily, we don't have to make that choice.

From http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5004.html :
Quote:
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that 8,000 to 10,000 victims are treated annually in U.S. hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with the tipover of furniture. CPSC also receives reports of about 6 deaths each year. The majority of these injuries and deaths are to children.
I'm guessing these statistics aren't high enough to merit attention, in your opinion. I hope that your family stays in the majority, and is never personally affected by the danger.

Lisa , mom to Isaac (9/1/03), Violet (6/19/06), Simon (10/9/09); wife to Eric ; handservant to Grace :
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#21 of 43 Old 06-27-2005, 05:00 PM
 
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It takes two adults to even move my dresser, there is just no way my son could tip it over! And it's not as simple as using a carseat, or do you really think no kids die in carseats? I'm sure many, many more than 16 kids died in 2003 even while properly strapped into the car. And electrical fires kill more than 16 kids, I'm sure- why don't you move to a house without electricity, to be safe? In fact, the bubble wrap outside sounds like a great idea, except I'm sure some kid somewhere has been suffocated by bubble wrap, so scratch that too. What's a mom to do with danger lurking in every corner, window, and piece of furniture?
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#22 of 43 Old 06-27-2005, 07:06 PM
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Acctually you'd be suprised how easily a top heavy highboy dresser can fall over.

Seriously, if your house is just a LITTLE un-level *and most houses are* your dresser can go kerpow. Kids climb on it, make it heavyer at the top than at the bottom BOOM squished kiddo.

Bookshelves are also another icky culprit for this too.

I don't like the look of blinds...When I have my own house *I'm in base housing right now* I'm gonna get some real nice curtains. What's the point of getting nice curtains now when they won't fit the windows *acctually I'm gonna MAKE the curtains..*

FTR: Only have two sets of blinds in the house, one, in the kitchen, where DD isn't allowed anyway *gated off* and one above the dining room table *where she can't reach* I can't wait till they go.

BTW: Unfortunately in this day and age, Too many people are short changed when it comes to common sense.
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#23 of 43 Old 06-27-2005, 07:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hottmama
It takes two adults to even move my dresser, there is just no way my son could tip it over!
Actually, we chose not to anchor our son's dresser because it flares out at the base and we don't think he could tip it over. It's a call that we made. If you don't think it's worth it, then don't do it. We have, however, anchored our bookcases to the wall, because we do see them as tipping risks.
Quote:
And it's not as simple as using a carseat, or do you really think no kids die in carseats? I'm sure many, many more than 16 kids died in 2003 even while properly strapped into the car.
I'm not really sure what point you're trying to make here?
Quote:
And electrical fires kill more than 16 kids, I'm sure- why don't you move to a house without electricity, to be safe? In fact, the bubble wrap outside sounds like a great idea, except I'm sure some kid somewhere has been suffocated by bubble wrap, so scratch that too. What's a mom to do with danger lurking in every corner, window, and piece of furniture?
You educate yourself and decide what precautions you're going to take. I'm sorry, but, yes, danger is "lurking in every corner, window, and piece of furniture". That's life. It may not always be a big danger, and I'm certainly not suggesting that we can or should remove every bit of danger from our children's lives. That's why I say we should educate ourselves about what can happen. You don't see these as big enough dangers to warrant your effort. You're putting your energy elsewhere. Fine. I really wasn't trying to be snarky when I hoped that your family would stay in the majority and be safe on this issue. I have the same hope for my family on the issues which I've decided we don't have the time, energy, or resources to make safer. But I don't think it's appropriate to mock those of us who do see these particular things as important. I mean, heck, this is MDC. You've never before read a post where someone is passionate about something that makes you go ? You read it, shake your head and maybe chuckle at the screen, and move on. :LOL

Lisa , mom to Isaac (9/1/03), Violet (6/19/06), Simon (10/9/09); wife to Eric ; handservant to Grace :
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#24 of 43 Old 06-28-2005, 04:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by boongirl
Except that the website referenced above says that all of these are hazards, too. I am a bit frustrated because have a house full of all different kinds of blinds, all installed one year before our 2 yr old was born. We cannot afford to replace them so we just have to anchor the cords up high and be very, very aware of where dd is at all times. Thank god for a small house!

A short rant: I wish sites like that would offer some suggestions instead of only trying to scare us. It is a small risk, by the way, not a huge one. More children die in cars daily by far.
http://www.pfwbs.org/Safer%20Alternatives.htm

I used to have that "It can't happen to me attidude."
I did however child proof my house with common sense. Then, as I walked into my twins bedroom, there was my precious girl hanging from the inner cords of a window blind. My pull cords were tied up out of her reach.
I learned quickly that it can happen to anyone.
Thank you to all of you who have supported our site.
I cannot sit here knowing the information I know about window blinds and just watch more children die. Its just not right. Its my calling I guess.
I humbley thank you for comming, please read the Products we recommend page, it will help you decide what safer products are out there.
Chey's Mom Forever

Ps. I appaud those of you for taking window cord strangulation seriously.
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#25 of 43 Old 06-28-2005, 05:00 PM
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Chey's mom - I am so sorry...

We are looking into those cellular shades for the kids' rooms and play rooms even as I type. Thank you for sharing your experience.

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#26 of 43 Old 06-28-2005, 06:42 PM
 
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I'd love to get rid of all our corded min-blinds, but we rent our apartment, so we can't exactly redecorate. Should I try to approach the apartment management (we live in a huge complex, so it's not like we know who they are or vice versa)

Jen 47 DS C 2/03  angel.gif04/29/08/ DD S 10/28/09 DH Bill '97.

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#27 of 43 Old 06-28-2005, 07:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Pookietooth
I'd love to get rid of all our corded min-blinds, but we rent our apartment, so we can't exactly redecorate. Should I try to approach the apartment management (we live in a huge complex, so it's not like we know who they are or vice versa)
This is a problem. Many of these deaths have happened in Apartment complexes. As of right now, all the landlord are reqired to do is have the so called "safety" kit attached to the blinds. Since we know that children still continue to die with these kits attached, there is still a serious threat of strangulation.
It would not hurt to ask if they could put something safer in your home. Its a very long shot, I have only met a few landlord that ever removed window treatments to the renters disgression. Some never removed them even AFTER a child had strangled and died in one of thier apartments.
My suggestion is to remove the blinds from the brackets on the wall. This is fairly easy and just takes removing the front cover plate on the bracket.
You can install a curtain in the children's room and other rooms they might play in. They have these spring rods, just like we use for our shower curtians that would not take any hardware to install, just pop it in where the brackets are with a curtain attached to it.
I would just do it and if the landlord has a problem, call the news station. They love stuff like this!
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#28 of 43 Old 06-29-2005, 12:43 AM
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I'm so sorry for your loss Chey's mom.

Pookietooth, the Redi Blinds are very cheap. We have ours up now and they work well and look decent. You could put the ones that come with your unit into storage for the time being and replace them before you move out if your landlord isn't willing to provide you with something safer.

About the dresser. Actually, ours isn't mounted to the wall yet. But it should be. We have taken all of the knobs off. Simon can't open any of the drawers this way. If the bottom drawer is open and he climbs into it and jumps a bit or tries to use this as a ledge to climb higher, it could easily fall over. We watch him in the bedroom very carefully and will mount it to the wall soon. Before we know it he'll know how to pull the drawers open without the knobs. Call me paranoid if you want! It will take 10 minutes of my life to attach the dresser to the wall. T.v.'s in entertainment units pose a similar danger btw, though perhaps worrying about this is foolish too? I don't think so!
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#29 of 43 Old 06-29-2005, 03:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chey's Mommy

I used to have that "It can't happen to me attidude."


Ps. I appaud those of you for taking window cord strangulation seriously.
Chey's mommy, I am deeply sorry for your loss. But, please don't assume I don't take this risk lightly. I never said anything about not being worried that it will happen to me. My dh and I spent a small fortune (for us) on blinds of all kinds for all of our windows when replaced all of our windows. I cannot afford to go out and replace them all. Just like I cannot afford to put a new fence around the front yard or put in a new stove that dd can't turn on. So, I do my best with babyproofing and I have her within eye's sight all the time. I have a wall of babygate in front of the front window, the largest one, the one she plays near most of the time. Her room has duettes with no exposed strings and the rest are pulled up out of her reach, blinds and cords, every day. Like I said, I am lucky my house is small enough that she is always near me. I just wish your site had some other answers besides replace everything. There are risks all around us. We cannot insulate our children from them all. However, small, reasonable steps are good. The heavy furniture I think should definitely be mounted to the wall. And poisons put up.
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#30 of 43 Old 06-29-2005, 09:26 AM
 
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I am not assuming that you take any risk lightly.
When I wrote "I used to ahve that it can't happen to be attidude." it was the truth. I did used to be that kind of mother. Not to the point where I just did not care about baby proofing, but I NEVER in a million years thought that anything in my house could kill one of our children. Especially after I had tied up the pull cords out of thier reach. Little did I know that the inner cord could come out and form a loop. I mean, WHO KNEW??
I am sorry that our website does not have a solution or a "fix" to make blinds completley safe. Its just not out there. I hate the fact that the industry LIES to the public and tells them that they have the safer version of the blinds and the consumers fall for it.
Our statistics are changing. Because some people have the new blinds, the age of children who are dying is getting older now. Mostly boys because they love to jump and climb on things. I really wish the industry would tell the truth to consumers instead of leaving them in the dark.
I don't know who put in your blinds, but if it was recently, you could always ask for a refund. The truth is, the only way to make them safe is to have a cordless product. I wish I could change that, but that fact is not because of our site, its the industy itself.
I am sure your a wonderful mother, I surley would not come in here and bash anyone for have blinds in thier home, after all, I used to be that mother. My daughter did not die because I was a bad mother, she died because of an unsafe product in my home that I was unaware of. The goal of the site is to get parents aware that children are still dying on new updated window blinds. Then it is up to the parent or consumer what sort of decision they want to make for thier children. I just could not sit back and watch more children die as the indusrty lies to consumers. Its not right.
When I first started this organization, the Window Covering Safety Council was blaming the parents saying how they needed to have NEW window blinds in thier home. They still advertise this. The WCSC is nothing more than an advertizing agency for the window covering market. They now today are saying that they would NEVER put corded window blinds in a home with small children and promote cordless products. I think the public deserves a recall for all that money they spend believing that council 3 years ago.
Forgive me if my post seemed directed towards or any other mother, it certianly was not my intention!
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