The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued new rules to prevent deaths by strangulation from window covering cords.
According to the CPSC, nine children under the age of 5 die annually from becoming strangled by window-covering cords. The CPSC said children can quickly become entangled in cords longer than 8 inches.
The CPSC said non-compliant window-covering cords will be added to its substantial product hazard list.
The new rules cover both custom-made and stock window coverings, blinds, draperies and curtains with cords.
The CPSC adopted the new guidance by a 4-0 margin.
“For decades, manufacturers have known of these deaths and injuries but taken too few steps to address this hazard. The rules we adopted will force a change in the industry that will prevent these unnecessary tragedies and protect future generations,” said CPSC Chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric. “It is impossible to know exactly which babies will be saved and which parents and caregivers will not have to suffer the loss of a child – but there is no doubt there are children who will grow to adulthood and families kept whole by these rules.”