When you are shopping for shades, curtains, shutters, blinds or awnings, it is very important that you keep child safety in mind, especially if you have inquisitive children and pets that may not recognize the dangers around them.
These window coverings and shade covers may seem innocuous to an adult, but they can pose a potentially serious safety hazard to children. Things like loose or unrestrained wires, loop chains, cords and braids from window furnishings, such as curtains, blinds or awnings, can be hazardous to young children who are exploring their environment.
In order to minimise the risk of injury for children, you have to go through the process of childproofing your home, and part of this job involves implementing important child safety tips and strategies for window coverings.
Child Safety For Window Coverings – Important Tips
1. Choose high-quality window coverings and ensure they are correctly installed
Make sure the window coverings you’re going to install in your home are of high quality and feature specially designed child safety devices like cord locks and cleats. High quality shutters, blinds and awnings from top brands are not only aesthetically pleasing and long-lasting, but they also tend to be child safe.
In addition, it is important to ensure your window furnishings are correctly installed, as improper installation may compromise child safety. So be sure to install the coverings according to the manufacturer’s installation instructions. If you’re staying in a hotel on holiday with children, check and ensure your blinds or other shade coverings have child safety devices and there are no loose, looped cords or chains that your child can reach.
2. Keep all loose cords/chains out of reach of children
Pull cords and chains on curtains, blinds and awnings can lead to strangulation risk to children and should, therefore, be kept short and out of reach. To avoid this risk, choose window coverings that come with safety devices and make sure you use these devices to secure any unsafe cords out of reach.
3. Select inherently safe window coverings
An extensive range of child safe window coverings is available and includes: shade products that are inherently safe (safe by design), products with inbuilt safety systems and products with separate safety devices.
Window shading products that are inherently safe by design include: wand operated vertical blinds, spring loaded or spring controlled roller blinds, tensioned pleated blinds, plantation shutters, crank operated blinds, and motorised shade products such as motorised blinds, shutters, shades, curtains and awnings. These shade products feature designs that work without cords or chains that can form a hazardous loop.
Child safe window coverings with inbuilt safety systems include: shade systems with chain connectors that will put apart under pressure, thereby preventing a loop from being formed, shade coverings or blinds that feature a single retractable cord which maintains a consistent cord length when operating the window covering, and shade systems with a continuous cord loop or a loop chain that is secured to the wall so it cannot form a hazardous loop. These system shade systems don’t require installation of any additional child safety devices or special safe operation, since they have in-built safety features.
Some window coverings come with separate child safety devices that can be used to secure the cords or chains to enhance child safety. These include blinds that come with a cord tensioner or a hook to keep the controls taut, and shade covers or blinds that feature cord locks or a cord cleat for the controls to be wrapped around.
4. Take proactive steps to keep young children away from all cords and chains
While the above-mentioned child safety tips for window coverings can go a long way, they might not be enough to keep your child safe. For example, enterprising children are going to be tempted to climb and may reach your shade systems and compromise safety devices. To eliminate this risk and ensure your child doesn’t make his or her way up to the window furnishings, make sure you move anything your child can stand in, climb on, or sit in (like cots, cribs, prams, tables, sofas, beds, high chairs, etc.) away from the windows.