ST. LOUIS, MO JUNE 20, 2017 (STL.NEWS) In seconds, children can be entangled in cords of today’s compliant window coverings leading to serious injury and death. Data indicates outer operational cords on corded window covering products have been involved in accidents since the 1970’s with no significant reduction in the death rate. Numerous incidents have occurred when consumers used required safety devices such as cord cleats, tie down and break away devices and short cords that become long when pulled.
Friday, the Government of Canada opened a 75 day public comment period on regulations that would restrict the length of operational cords and the size of loops that can be created on corded window coverings. Efforts aligning safety standards across jurisdictions of Canada and the United States failed to protect children from strangling on compliant products. Warnings will also be required on products that states products should be disposed of if a long cord or large loop is ever exposed. The proposed regulations, which were published in the Canada Gazette, Part 1, are seen by many safety experts as a solution to eliminating the strangulation risk posed to children in Canada. Officials are projecting the new proposed requirements for corded window coverings to come into force by 2018.
Canadian safety conscious mom, Candace Allard, from Red Deer, placed her daughter down for a nap in September 2012. Her daughter, Bella, managed to form a loop from the inner cord of a window blind while outer pull cords were out of reach. Bella lost her life. Devastated, Candace contacted USA based charity, Parents for Window Blind Safety and began advocating in Canada for safer products. Candace and Linda Kaiser, founder of PFWBS, began working together in 2012 on the Corded Window Covering standard development process in Canada which ended up failing to protect kids from future corded products. It was during this process that the two mothers learned that a mandatory rule would have to be implemented in order to eliminate the strangulation risk from products.
“Canada has done what we have yet been able to do in the US,” stated Nancy Cowles, executive director of Kids In Danger, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting children by improving children’s product safety. “They have shown real leadership and proposed a standard that eliminates a known risk of strangulation from window coverings – saving children’s lives.”
The Government of Canada encourages Canadians to review the proposed new Regulations and to submit feedback to Health Canada by August 31, 2017.
Parents for Window Blind Safety reminds consumers from all countries that the safest window coverings are ones that have no outer operational cords that you can see or touch. Consumers should look for safe products that have encased outer cords or no outer cords, and tight inner cords that cannot form loops large enough to place a child’s head through. Cordless products with extension wands and motors are recommended to assist the elderly, aid those with disabilities, and help consumers operate tall window coverings .
For a list of quality products certified and approved by PFWBS for child safety: Window Covering Testing
Parents for Window Blind Safety is a non-profit organization that protects children from unsafe play environments that contains lethal window covering cords, educates consumers on exposed window covering cord dangers, assists in creating safer standards in the industry to prevent injuries to children, encourages innovation of safer products, and tests window covering products for safety.