Consumer Product Update: Protect Children from Strangulation Risk by Choosing Cordless Window Coverings

OTTAWA, March 2, 2016 /CNW/ -

Issue:

Every year, Health Canada receives reports of children getting tangled in blind cords, which can quickly lead to strangulation and even death. Strangulation can occur when children:

  • place their heads through a cord loop;
  • wrap a single long cord around their neck; or,
  • pull inner cords out of the window covering.

Health Canada continues to remind Canadians that the safest window coverings are ones that have no cords that you can see or touch. Removing corded window coverings is the best way to keep children safe.

What you should do:

In homes where children live or visit, it is recommended that any corded window coverings be replaced with cordless ones, especially in children's rooms and places where children play. Strangulation can happen even when children are in places where parents think they are safe, such as in a crib or in a bedroom. Any type of blind cord, including cords on the side, inside, or on the back of a window covering, is a strangulation risk for children. Never put a crib, bed, highchair, or playpen near corded window coverings.

If you cannot replace your corded window coverings, it is important to always keep cords up high and out of the reach of children and to follow Health Canada's blind cord safety tips.

What Health Canada is doing:

Health Canada is working in collaboration with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (U.S. CPSC) to educate consumers about the hazards of corded window coverings. The Department is also working with the Retail Council of Canada and its retail members across Canada to provide information about these hazards and what consumers can do to mitigate these risks when making purchasing decisions. 

Health Canada regularly carries out market surveys to assess compliance of consumer products in Canada and to take appropriate enforcement actions. Since 2009, the Department has published 34 recall notices for corded window coverings.

On August 1, 2015, Health Canada published a Notice to Interested Parties for consultation in Canada Gazette regarding possible amendments to the Corded Window Covering Products Regulations to help reduce the risk of strangulation posed by corded window covering products to children in Canada. The Department continues to analyze the comments received from industry and the public.

On October 1, 2015, Ikea Canada announced that its stores would only sell window blinds and coverings with no cords or non-accessible cords. Health Canada congratulates Ikea Canada for this voluntary action, and encourages other Canadian retailers to do the same.

Today in Washington, D.C., Health Canada and the U.S. CPSC made clear our expectations for a strengthened standard that would eliminate the risk of strangulation from the vast majority of corded window covering products. The Department is hopeful that window covering manufacturers will publicly commit to do the right thing and quickly finalize a new standard for blinds that will eliminate the problem. However, Health Canada will move forward with a strong regulatory solution in the months ahead if a protective standard is not forthcoming.

Report health or safety concerns:

If you experience a safety-related incident relating to a corded window covering or another consumer product, report it to Health Canada as well as the establishment where the product was purchased.

Également disponible en français

 

SOURCE Health Canada

For further information: Media Enquiries: Health Canada, (613) 957-2983; Public Enquiries: (613) 957-2991, 1-866 225-0709


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