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Global Awareness-raising Campaign on Window Covering Cords #SafeWindowCoverings

23-06-2016

The OECD Global Awareness-raising Campaign on Window Covering Cords (23 to 30 June 2016) aims at informing consumers of the risks posed by unsafe window coverings, which are still in use in millions of European homes today.

Global Awareness-raising Campaign on Window Covering Cords

The campaign

The OECD Global Awareness-raising Campaign on Window Covering Cords aims at informing consumers, particularly parents and caregivers, about the dangers associated with corded window coverings. It encourages taking precaution not only at home, but also in vacation homes or holiday rentals which young children may visit.

This worldwide campaign involves 23 regulators from 5 continents: United States (lead country), Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, European Commission, Finland, France, Iceland, Japan, Latvia, Malta, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom.

A coordinated global action, especially in the social media, ensures an extraordinary potential for reaching out worldwide, as seen by the great outreach of previous global campaigns on button batteries (#worldbatterysafety) and laundry detergent capsules (#LaundrySafe).

In addition to activities to raise awareness, some jurisdictions have taken regulatory action on these products. For example, based on a mandate by the European Commission, new European standards for internal window blinds have been adopted to specifically address the need for protection from strangulation hazards. Those standards are: EN 13120:2009 + A1:2014, EN 16433:2014, EN 16434:2014.

Join the campaign!

The following infographic can be downloaded for all stakeholders to help raise awareness:

Infographic pdf (671 kB) Choose translations of the previous link 

More information material is available on the OECD website.

The product and the hazards

Unsafe window covering cords and young children are a deadly mix. Incidents have involved children up to 9 years of age, but most concern children under the age of 3.

Children can be strangled if they become entangled in the cord forming a loop around their neck. Strangulation happens quickly and silently.

Strangulation deaths and injuries can occur anywhere where an unsafe corded window covering is installed.

Every year, accidents involving window covering cords are reported in the EU, some with fatal consequences. Millions of unsafe corded window coverings are still in use in European homes today.

Safety messages for parents and carers

  • Do not expose children to hazardous loops, and perform regular checks
    • Examine all shades and blinds for accessible cords on the front, side and back.
    • Do not place cots, beds and furniture close to windows because children may climb up and gain access to window covering cords. This is recommended both at home and when visiting.
  • Use safe products
    • Use cordless or inaccessible cord window coverings in homes with young children, or window coverings fitted with safety devices to keep cords out of reach of young children.
    • Check regularly that cords are out of reach of young children and cannot form hazardous loops. Tie the cords up or use safety devices such as cleats, cord tidies, clips or ties that are readily available.
  • Pay attention to corded window coverings when visiting a new place with young children (e.g. vacation homes, holiday rentals).