Kids and pets both require that we look at our environment from a different perspective, with their curiosity and innocence in mind. They just want to play and explore, and everything – EVERYTHING – has “fun” potential to them. So, it’s up to us to look for the not-so-obvious items that can pose a danger and remove them from reach.
We use many tactics to “baby-proof” or “pet-proof” our homes. However, dangling cords on window treatments are one of the top five dangers in a home for children between 7 months and 10 years of age. These cords can result in strangulation and injury to children and pets, and a lifetime of pain and regret for their parents.
Infants can become tangled in cords while the sleep or play, but toddler through elementary age children are the most at-risk as they explore, learn to make things work, climb, jump, and become faster, more confident and more creative. Window blind cords can be intriguing to children; something to pull on, dance with, wrap around themselves or each other. As for pets, they like to climb, tug, pounce on and roll around with things like cords. And children and pets playing together compound the possibilities for injury.
Supervision is obviously the best prevention, but chances are you will be distracted or called away from your child or pet at some point. Therefore, the best solution is to eliminate cords all together. Miller’s Interior Design supports the safety standards of the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) and, along with the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC), recommend cordless or motorized kid/pet- safe blinds to decrease the likelihood of injuries.
Helping you create a beautiful home is secondary only to the safety of your family – be they children and/or pets – and you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. It is possible to have beautiful, quality window coverings that suit your style, address your light/heat control needs, and are also safe for young children and pets. There are several options that don’t involve cords at all, such as cordless or motorized blinds and shades.
Graber, our favorite window treatment manufacturer, is committed to making their products safe for your family, and offers features on all its stylish blinds and shades that allow you to design without worry OR compromise. Graber’s features include:
- tension pulleys and tie-down devises to keep continuous-loop pull cords taut
- tassel ends on lift cords that reduce any risk of entanglement
- cord stops on horizontal blinds that prevent internal cords from slipping through the louvers
- cordless and motorized lift/tilt options
From November 1 – December 31, 2016, Graber is offering a free upgrade to Cordless Lift on their Cellular, Pleated, Roller, Solar, and Natural Shades (wood, faux wood, and composite blinds). Even if child and pet safety isn’t a concern in your home, this is a great time to upgrade to a window treatment that’s easier to adjust.
If replacing all the corded blinds and drapes in your home is not an option, consider only replacing those in the room(s) your children and/or pets are likely to be unsupervised in….such as where they sleep or play. And if even this is not possible, the Window Covering Safety Council offers free retrofit kits for older cord-operated blinds. They are available at www.windowcoverings.org/how-to-retrofit/ or by calling 1-800-506-4636. There are also other low and no-cost DIY options, like shortening cords, cutting continuous loop cords, installing cleats high on the window casing to wrap cords around, and keeping cribs, beds, playpens, and other furniture away from windows and cords.
Decorating our homes with children and pets in mind requires that we think beyond “pretty”. Our window treatment professionals can help you achieve pretty, practical, and safe!