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Wrongful Death of Children by Strangulation and Window Cords

Wednesday, February 20, 2019By Richard Alexander and Nina Shapirshteyn

Window coverings sold in stores or online should be cordless or free of accessible cords to meet a revised voluntary safety standard that took effect on December 15, 2018. The goal is to prevent the wrongful death of children by strangulation,

This standard is the product of years of delay by the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) in negotiations with the Consumer Products Safety Commission. With these new voluntary standards finally in place, we expect to see a reduction in death by strangulation of young children by window cords. The results will take time since it will be years before old window coverings are phased out and replaced in households in California and across the U.S.

The updated standard will require that stock or substantially fabricated window coverings be cordless or have inaccessible cords or short cords (eight inches or less) in any position of the window covering.

Additionally, there are also restrictions for corded custom-order window coverings, such as specific default length and default to a tilt wand instead of a tilt cord. Finally, the standard includes for more robust warning tags that emphasize the strangulation hazard to children.

If you cannot replace window coverings in a home, here is what you should do:

  • Move all cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from windows and window cords.
  • Make tasseled pull cords as short as possible.
  • Keep all window cords well out of reach of children.
  • Eliminate any dangling cords.
  • Permanently anchor continuous-looped bead chains and cods to the floor or wall.

Alexander Law Group, LLP attorneys are always ready to answer questions and share the results of our research and experience with the public. As safety lawyers, our goal is to make a difference for our clients and our community.

While the results that we have obtained in other cases and our clients' testimonials do not guarantee, promise or predict the outcome of your case, we do promise to do our very best for you in your case.

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