When baby proofing, do not forget your window coverings
(NC) – There are many things new parents need to think about when bringing home their newborn baby. We want to be sure to keep our children safe in our homes, and for new parents especially, it seems like everything that once seemed harmless holds hidden dangers. We all know baby gates help prevent a fall down the stairs, and outlet plugs protect little fingers from electricity, but one area parents often overlook is protecting children from the blinds covering the windows.
Any cords on a window covering can pose a strangulation hazard. This includes operating cords used to raise and lower or tilt the blind, and cords which are internal, or cords on the back of the blinds. Strangulation occurs silently and quickly, and by the time a parent or caregiver checks on the child, it is often too late. Strangulations can happen even when children are in places where parents think they are safe, such as in a crib or in a bedroom. Children aged 12 months to 36 months old are most at risk of strangulation.
The safest window coverings in homes with young children are cordless. If you are buying new window coverings for your baby's room or playroom purchase only cordless window coverings. Always choose window coverings that do not have exposed cords on the back.
If buying new blinds is not an option, there are other ways to protect your baby. Never put a crib, bed, high chair, or playpen near a window or a patio door where a child can reach a blind cord. Do not put sofas, chairs, tables, shelves, or bookcases near windows. This will prevent children from climbing up to reach the blind cord.
Whether your blinds are new or old, follow manufacturer's instructions and never leave cords hanging. Always make sure the cords are up high and out of reach of children, whether blinds are up or down.
More tips on keeping your child safe from the risks of strangulation by blind cords can be found online at healthycanadians.gc.ca.
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