Installing cordless blinds is the best way to keep little ones safe and avoid blind cord safety worries. However, if you already have blinds and don’t want to replace them, you can still child proof blind cords. Cord cleats, cord loop anchors, blind cord wraps, and breakaway tassels take just minutes to install and instantly safeguard babies and toddlers from this potential home hazard.
Why Worry About Blind Cord Safety?
Before the mid-1990s, several young children in the U.S. died of strangulation due to window blind cords. Updated safety regulations were passed in the late 1990s, forcing blind and shade manufacturers to redesign products with built-in child safety features. These included wall cleats and anchoring systems for blind cords, safety stops for inner cords, split cords to prevent loops, and completely cordless styles.
Along with these safety redesigns, blind manufacturers and childproofing companies released various safety devices to retrofit existing blind cords.
Not sure if your blinds are safe for use around young children? Here are a few things to check:
- Do the pull cords connect at the end to create a loop? If yes, is the plastic end “tassel” one solid piece, or will it break apart easily, breaking the cord loop? (If it separates into two pieces, it’s probably a safety tassel)
- Can the inner cord (between the blind slats) be pulled out to create a dangling loop?
- Do your blinds have a continuous control loop that hangs freely?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, it’s time to address blind cord safety.
5 Easy Ways to Child Proof Blind Cords
Here are five easy and inexpensive ways to child proof blind cords in your home for safety and peace of mind.
1. Blind Cord Safety Cleats
Simple and inexpensive blind cord cleats allow pull cords to be secured safely out of reach. This is probably the simplest child-safe cord fix for standard blinds with pull cords. However, it should be used in conjunction with a safety tassel (below) just in case someone is in a hurry, and the cord is not wound up properly.
2. Blind Cord Wraps, Winders, Retractors and Roll-ups
Other blind cord safety devices made for child-safe blinds are cord wraps and cord roll-ups. These retractable devices are made to neatly secure blind cords out of reach. Safety-wise, they’re as effective as blind cord anchors but look tidier and don’t require installation into window frames.
3. Blind Cord Safety Tassels
The cord tassel is the plastic thimble-like piece at the end of the blind pull cord. If multiple blind control cords are connected with one tassel, it creates a dangerous loop. This is one of the major safety hazards that drove the changes within the industry.
Luckily, it’s an easy fix. Simply replace the single tassel with a breakaway tassel or multiple cord tassels like the ones listed below. This eliminates the dangerous cord loop.
4. Continuous Blind Cord Loop Anchors
Continuous-loop control cords are common in many types of blinds, shades, and drapes, as well as most floor-length blinds and draperies. To function, the cord must be in one piece, it can’t be cut or shortened. However, the loop it creates can be anchored to the wall or floor using simple cord loop safety anchors or tie-downs.
5. Blind Cord Safety Stops
This repair will minimize the danger of children pulling inner cords out from between the blind slats in pre-1999 windowcoverings. Inner cord stops are installed onto the cords near the headrail when the blind is completely lowered. Free cord safety stops are available through the Window Covering Safety Council.
Cordless Blinds: Your Best Bet for Blind Cord Safety
The Window Covering Safety Council recommends cordless blinds and window coverings in homes with small children. Not only are cordless blinds and shades safer, but they’re also sleeker and more stylish than window blinds and shades with messy, dangling cords.
Cordless blinds and shades are available in every imaginable style, and many are inexpensive. If you’re in the market for new window coverings, you can eliminate the blind cord safety issue altogether by upgrading your blinds to cordless styles.
Amazon has a great selection of cordless blinds and shades at competitive prices. Below are some top-rated products that you might want to consider.
- Cordless Cellular/Honeycomb Shades come in a variety of colors and styles. Most styles are stain- and dust-resistant and easily cleaned with a vacuum attachment or damp cloth. Also called honeycomb shades, cellular blinds also come in energy-efficient insulating styles and offer linings that effectively filter or block light.
- Cordless Roman Shades add versatility, dimension, and charm to any room. Roman shades come in various textures, fabrics, and colors, including natural materials like bamboo and woven grasscloth. Roman shades can be very decorative and are a popular alternative to drapes. The soft folds of a Roman shade lend a softer texture to windows without the worry of dangling drapes and curtains.
- Cordless Pleated Shades come in a variety of styles and materials, including pleated paper shades and light-filtering fabrics. Basic paper-pleated shades are very inexpensive and come in various colors, while fabric-pleated shades offer many decorative textures and colors.
- Cordless Miniblinds don’t use cords to raise and lower, so long, dangling cords are eliminated. Cordless styles still use inner cords to control the angle of the slats but have built-in safety stops to prevent unsafe situations.
- Cordless Roller Shades Spring-tension roller shades have always been cordless and offer styles ranging from blackout shades to light-filtering mesh and decorative fabrics. Newer models include easy-lift styles and remote-operated options. Roller shades offer a huge selection of colors and textures and are dust-resistant and easy to clean, compared to miniblinds and faux wood blinds.
- Cordless Faux Wood Blinds mimic the look of expensive wooden blinds without the cost. Like cordless miniblinds, cordless faux wood blinds don’t use cords for raising and lowering the blind. They do have internal cords to control the slats, but most have built-in safety stops to eliminate dangers.
Don’t Forget to Hang Drapes and Curtains Safely
Anything a child can reach has a potential for danger, including long draperies and curtains. If you have these, be sure rods are securely installed into the wooden studs surrounding the window.
Windows are typically framed with studs that extend about four inches around the opening. Rod hardware should be securely installed into studs to prevent them from coming out if kiddos pull on drapes.
Also, avoid using pressure-mounted rods with any curtain that a child can reach (remember – they move chairs!). These are easily pulled down and could cause injury to a child. This applies to shower curtain rods, too.
Check out our childproofing tips and checklists to make all of your childproofing tasks quick and easy.
That’s a Wrap
I hope this info helps make your home safer for little ones. If you have any questions about childproofing blind cords or want to add some windowcovering safety tips of your own, please share in the comments below.