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VIDEO: Child Safety by Hunter Douglas

I am an installer and a parent. As such, I am acutely aware of the potential dangers of corded window treatments. Below we have included the latest video discussing child safety by Hunter Douglas. Hopefully sharing this information with the public will help bring awareness to this issue and give parents, guardians, and caregivers the information they need to select safer window treatments for their homes.

Why is “Child Safety” Important?

Cords on window treatments have been dubbed one of the top 5 hidden dangers in American homes. The problem is so large that several industry and consumer groups have established October as “National Window Covering Safety Month.” In fact, according to some reports, it takes less than 60 seconds for a child to suffer severe injury or even death as a result of becoming tangled in a loose cord on a blind or shade.

Who is Hunter Douglas?

Hunter Douglas is a manufacturer of a wide variety of window coverings, including wood blinds, roller shades, roman shades, and interior shutters. They, like most manufacturers, are concerned with providing safe window treatments and provide many options that eliminate or limit access to cords that could injury young children.

They created this short video and encouraged their dealers to share it on their websites to get the word out to the general public about the potential dangers of corded window treatments. (Disclaimer: we are not a Hunter Douglas dealer but we have partnered with several in our area).

Also, please remember to hire professional window treatment installers that are trained to properly install your window coverings with appropriate safety devices.

SPECIAL REPORT: Window Covering Child Safety

As an installer I show my clients the proper way to operate and maintain their window treatments.

Unfortunately I can't be there every minute of every day to make sure they are using them properly and that they are teaching their children how to use them and live with them properly.

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Shades Of Things To Come

Window treatments in general, but roman shades in particular, have been getting a lot of heat from various consumer groups, regulatory organizations, as well as the media.

Here’s why.

roman shadesAccording to the Window Coverings Safety Council and others, window coverings (such as blinds, roman shades, etc.) are among the top 5 “hidden dangers” in a home due to their dependence upon cords to operate them.

Over the past few years there has been a big push for consumers to purchase cordless or motorized shades and blinds.

The discussion over this touches everyone because you either have children or you know someone who has children and nobody wants to turn on the news and hear about a child that has gotten hurt because they were playing with the cords on the blinds. Unfortunately it happens despite the best efforts of everyone involved.

There are those who have called for the immediate halt in the production of any type of window covering that uses cords. Which is great if you own a company that makes plantation shutters or motorized shades, but not so good if you own a company that makes/sells blinds, roman shades, or draperies.

There are those who believe that the government should step in and dictate how the products should be made. Yeah, that will work, afterall, they have a 40-page binder that helps them decide which $500.00 screwdriver to purchase.

Frankly. It’s not about regulation it’s about education.

Everyone involved in the process needs to make sure they are sharing the information that is available.

The companies that manufacture the products (who are the ones that have the financial and technical resources to make changes in the design if necessary) need to make sure that their dealers understand the risks and the alternative options that are available within their product lines.

The dealers need to make sure that their sales reps and installers understand the potential risks and the proper installation techniques to reduce or eliminate the risks to the homeowners and individuals purchasing the products.

And the consumers need to make sure that they understand the potential risks involved before they make the purchase and if necessary, change to a different product or upgrade to a cordless or motorized type product.

It is a fact of life, regardless of how much you try to protect your children, and regardless of how much you try to warn them not to mess with the cords on the shades or other potentially harmful household items, kids will be kids and they will play with stuff they are not supposed to.

If it is left to the government or some other sort of “regulatory commission” to determine the requirements for roman shades and other types of corded window treatments, what you may find in the future is a distinct lack of product options to choose from. Either the companies will decide it is not worth the hassle to comply with those regulations or the consumers will decide that the added costs to purchase a compliant product is too high. And as a result those products will be “regulated” right out of existence.

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