Check your window coverings: Health Canada says blinds could be dangerous for kids

If your blinds have cords that are longer than 22 centimetres, they could pose a strangulation risk. Here’s what you need to know.

Photo: iStockphoto

Take a look around your house: Do you have any blinds with pull cords? It takes just 15 seconds for a child to be strangled by a cord. That’s why Health Canada is urging parents to do away with corded window coverings and is proposing new regulations that would restrict cords to a maximum length of 22 centimetres and limit cord loops to 44 centimetres in perimeter.

“That’s based on what a child can get around their neck,” says Tyler Goodier, unit head of mechanical and physical hazards in Health Canada’s Consumer Product Safety Directorate. “It doesn’t take very much cord to result in a fatal incident.”

On average, at least one child dies each year from being strangled by corded window coverings. “In a lot of cases, we’re talking about children who are between the ages of one and four. This is an age when parents start to have confidence in the child’s ability to roam around parts of the house unsupervised,” says Goodier. “The real problem is once they get into a situation, they don’t really know how to get…

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