Blinds, Shades and Child Safety
Do you remember all the news stories, a couple years ago, concerning child safety and window coverings? The subject sticks out in my mind obviously because it is related to my work and because I have small children. The concern was mostly over mail order and or stock items that were bought off a shelf and installed, usually, by the homeowner. There were tragedies, huge recalls and lawsuits but fortunately the custom window covering trade was not really involved.
I would say that the overall higher quality of product and the experienced sales and installation that comes with a custom retailer helped to keep the trade uninvolved however the custom window covering community definitely took notice and many positive changes have taken place. There is much more awareness about the subject compared to a couple of years ago and that in its self is very helpful but the industry has been very proactive in making their products more child safe as well.
On the awareness side of things, it is good to note that there are many products out there that have
been around for a long time like shutters and draperies that already are or can be made without child safety’s #1 enemy which is strings. Draperies, when set up to traverse by hand, present no problems for toddlers or even pets who like them because they can easily move the fabric aside to leave wet nose marks on the glass.
Shutters are another great choice. They are naturally string free, simple to use, even for children, and are one of the best insulators against both heat and cold. With their timeless look and classic feel they a great child safe choice in window coverings.
One way that the industry is changing to become more child safe is the introduction of cordless control into a wider variety of products. Cordless roller shades and cordless honeycomb shades have been around for a while but lately we are seeing the industry really improving and trying to mainstream the option. The string free lift systems are getting better and more reliable plus now we are seeing the option more and more on roman shades and wood and faux wood blinds which was mostly an unavailable option in years past on these popular window coverings.
Window covering manufacturers are also making improvements on shades and blinds that do have strings with breakaway mechanisms that will separate when too much stress is applied and they have made it so that small children can’t get their heads between the back of the shade and the strings found there on roman style shades. These are two very important changes. Next time you have a window covering need, please give us a call and let us help you make choices that are safer for your children and pets while improving the look and efficiency of your home.