OTTAWA, Oct. 31, 2016 /CNW/ - Corded window coverings pose a danger to children. There is significant concern that children continue to be entangled in accessible cords. Strangulation happens silently and can lead to injury or even death.
Despite this danger, many companies continue to manufacture and sell corded window coverings. Technology has advanced to where these products can be made cordless, at a comparable price, and are just as easy to use.
Some Canadian retailers, however, are taking action by committing publicly to go cordless. IKEA Canada announced in October 2015 that it would no longer sell window coverings with accessible cords and Walmart Canada has also publicly committed to phasing out corded window coverings by 2018. I am pleased that these companies share our vision of safer environments for children, and it is my sincere hope that other Canadian retailers will follow their lead.
Health Canada is taking steps to make the sale of these products illegal. In August 2015, Health Canada published a Notice to Interested Parties which made it clear to industry that if a more protective Canadian standard for preventing strangulations was not forthcoming, Health Canada would consider taking regulatory action to address the risks from blind cords. Given the very real danger to children posed by corded blinds, I am dismayed by the lack of progress by industry in instituting a strong, protective Canadian standard.
Therefore, today, I am announcing that Health Canada will move forward with amendments to the Corded Window Covering Products Regulations. These amendments would propose to prohibit window covering products that pose a strangulation risk to children from being manufactured, imported, advertised or sold in Canada. The Department plans to introduce these amendments in spring 2017.
At the same time, Health Canada continues to remind Canadians that, within their homes, the safest window coverings are ones that have no cords that you can see or touch. Parents and caregivers are strongly encouraged to replace window coverings with cordless options that are now available on the market, starting with children's rooms and places where children play. If you cannot make an immediate switch, make sure to always keep cords up high and out of the reach of children and to follow Health Canada's window covering safety tips.
Through strengthened Corded Window Covering Products Regulations, voluntary industry cooperation and ongoing public education and awareness, strangulations from corded window coverings can be prevented. I encourage all parties to do their part to protect children from this danger.
Window covering safety
SOURCE Health Canada
For further information: Contacts: Andrew MacKendrick, Office of Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, (613) 957-0200; Media Relations: Health Canada, (613) 957-2983; Public Inquiries: (613) 957-2991, 1-866 225-0709