Window Blinds: Safeguarding Your Little Ones As They Grow Up

Thursday, January 29, 2015

In the early days of your child's life, the most effective window treatment will probably come in the form of blackout blinds. This is hardly surprising; after all, this is the option which blocks any sort of natural light entering the room and hopefully gives you all much longer sleeping periods. Well, that's in theory at least.

However, as your little one gets older, other considerations start to enter the picture. First and foremost, the safety of a lot of blinds has come into question over recent years - for the simple reason that they can cause huge strangulation hazards. Deaths have been caused by such cords and as such, if your current set of blinds is armed with cords, you will need to take adequate precautions. Some people will tear them down and install one of the modern cordless blinds varieties, but others might look to keep them and just manage the issue.

The above is completely fine; after all, blinds with cords are completely legal and if there were serious concerns about their safety they would have been pulled from the shelves. They aren't as safe as the newer versions, but if you take the appropriate steps there's absolutely no reason why your nursery can't have them.

So, how do you manage with a set of blinds with cords in the room? Making sure that they are completely inaccessible to your inquisitive toddler is one way - whether this is by moving furniture or just moving the cords so that they are too high to be reached. In relation to the latter, it's usually advisable to take advantage of a device like a cord cleat which can make the cords easy to tie up and ultimately keep out of range. If you can move any resting furniture away as well, you will have more or less eradicated the risk immediately.

There are further steps you can opt to take though. One of these relates to the cord stops, which refer to the area of the blind which prevents the cord from reversing into the head rail after being pulled too far. From a safety perspective, the above isn't an issue - but when the cords are not "stopped" when going the other way they can become dangly and increase that dreaded strangulation hazard. Fortunately, the way in which this risk is managed is completely simple. A cord stop is effectively a knot which determines just how much a cord can maneuver, so just tying this in an appropriate position can manage the problem perfectly.

As you can see – children and blinds with cords can live together. It’s not ideal, but if you happen to be working on a budget or are just against changing your window treatment, it can work. Through simple furniture management, and checks to install that products have been installed correctly and safely, there’s no reason why you have to haul your existing set of blinds down when your child does enter the toddler, “explorer” stage of life.