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All parents want their children to be safe and happy, and that means considering potential dangers in the family home.
Nearly all of us have blinds and curtains for window coverings, but have you ever stopped to consider the potential hazards? Cords from blinds and curtains can be dangerous to babies and young children.
Since 1989, 24 Canadian children have strangled to death on blind and curtain cords. And most of these children were under the age of 3.
The cords from blinds and curtains present two main strangulation hazards.
The cord can form a loop in which a child can get caught, and long cords can wrap around a child's neck.
Whether blinds or curtains are new or old, adults need to protect young children by ensuring cords are always out of reach.
Always place cribs, beds, high chairs or playpens away from windows or patio doors, where a child can reach the blind or curtain cord and strangle.
Position sofas, chairs, tables, shelves or bookcases away from windows. This will prevent children from climbing up to reach the blind or curtain cord.
Consider cutting the cords short when blinds are fully down or when curtains are fully closed.
Wrap the cord around a cleat or 2 nails or screws that you've attached to the wall near the top of the blinds or curtains, high and out of the reach of children.
Use a clip, clothes pin, or a safety device that stores the cords to keep the cord high and out of the reach of children.
Remove the loop in the cord by cutting the cord in half.
Then, put plastic tassels or a break-away device at the end of the cords.
For blinds that require a loop to operate, install tie-down devices.
You can buy these devices at hardware or department stores.
When installing tie-downs, follow the manufacturer's instructions that come with the product. Make sure that the tie-down device is securely attached to the wall beside the window.
By taking some basic precautions, you can help to keep your children safe.
For more information on blind cord safety visit www.healthcanada.gc.ca/blindcords. An 'Out of Reach' window decal can also be ordered online at this site, reminding you to tie blind cords out of reach of young children.
Health Professionals can order copies of the Out of Reach safety demonstration video on VHS, DVD or CD-ROM by sending an email to email@example.com, by calling 1-866-662-0666, or by fax 613-941-4376. You can also download the file from this site and save it to your computer by right-clicking on the video icon and selecting "save link/target as".