Corded Blinds with their Dangling Cords
Once upon a time, blinds and shades did not use to be smart. We had good old corded blinds that adorned each and every window you could possibly lay your eyes upon. Hotels, restaurants, offices, homes, schools, etc. had corded shades for their windows. There were these dangling cords that appeared on the sides of every window frame which had to be manually operated to close and open them. Time-consuming and not very attractive to look at, these corded blinds were all that we had back then. But not anymore.
Motorized & Smart Blinds
Corded blinds started being pushed back as motorized blinds began capturing the markets. These were remote-controlled shades and a press of a button was all that you needed to raise or lower them. No more pulling on those cords and no more cords pooling on the floor near the windows creating a mess. And then came the smart shades. All that you need to do is download the app on your smartphones and access the blinds remotely with just a click. At home, you can pair these shades with your home assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Home and voice command is all that it takes to operate them. We have truly come a long way since the corded days.
Corded Blinds are Hazardous
Corded blinds and shades are not only time consuming and well, not very impressive to look at, but they pose serious security concerns at home. They pose potential threats to toddlers and pets. Toddlers, as we all know, love to explore all over the place. They crawl under the table, inside empty boxes, behind sofas everywhere. They pick up, explore, and experiment with anything that they can lay their hands upon. This is where corded blinds can prove hazardous and extremely dangerous. There were hundreds of cases reported from all over the US of kids suffering injuries from cord strangulations. It was estimated that between 1990 and 2015 approximately 17,000 children were admitted to hospitals due to injuries from corded blinds. As per the journal, ‘Pediatrics’ as many as 255 children died from getting tangled in these cords. There were even fatalities that occurred from these incidents and they were extremely tragic, to say the least, and traumatic for the parents.
Consumer Product Safety Commission or CPSC conducted surveys that showed that for 20 years almost every month a child lost his or her life due to corded windows blinds and shades. Accordingly to CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye, “They (kids) like pulling on them. And they pull on them and they wrap them around their necks, and that’s what happens. And it’s devastating.”
CPSC issued a warning as early as 1985. Companies have been making safety improvements to prevent mishaps. Neither the government ordered a ban nor did the companies take measures to eliminate the risk associated with corded blinds. They started including warning labels along with their products to make parents aware of the possible risks. However, mishaps continued. Some were lucky, others were not. CPSC listed corded shades as one of the top five hazards in homes with toddlers.
Over the years the tussle continued with blinds and shades industry not willing to withdraw corded shades from the market for reasons of profit and according to parents, the manufacturers were trying to shift the onus of incidents on parents. However after a long struggle, it was announced in December 2018 going ahead, no corded window blinds would be sold by American websites or stores. The Window Covering Manufacturers Association has taken this step which is being considered as a milestone measure by many. They have declared that henceforth only cordless window blinds or blinds with inaccessible or short cords would be sold in the markets.
Corded blinds will be custom made only on request. There are people with disabilities who find it easier to operate corded blinds. For any new customized orders, new specifications have been imposed. The cords will be henceforth on 40% of the height of the blinds and a tilted band to be used instead of a cord. For them, these will be delivered as customized orders but you will no longer find them on shelves in the market anymore.
The good thing is that long before the corded blinds were shown the way out, there were other non-corded alternatives already in the market. Motorized cords were already there in the market, making life easy. The recent years have seen the growth of the smart window blinds industry that has captured the imagination of people. Let alone cords, you do not need to be physically present to operate these shades.
Precautions to Take
For parents who are now looking to replace corded shades must look for a “Best for Kids” certification label to guide them. Changing the blinds for all the rooms could be an expensive affair. Hence it is suggested to start replacing corded blinds in rooms where your kid spends major part of their time like bedrooms and living rooms.
If you are renting out homes then it may be difficult to replace corded shades as the landlords may not be in favor of having their shades replaced. It is best to speak to your landlord, share your concerns about safety hazards. You can remove the landlord’s blinds, store it away somewhere and use your safer ones.
Officially helping corded blinds to bow out is a milestone decision that has been hailed by all. We are glad to have it and sell safer products for our customers and their children.