Consumer policy

Window Covering Cord Safety Campaign


#SafeWindowCovering; #Cortinasseguras (#SafeCurtains) Twitter logo - new as of June 2012


From 23 to 30 June 2016, an OECD Global Awareness Campaign will be carried out on Window Covering Cord Safety. The initiative aims at informing consumers about persistent, hidden and severe dangers associated with corded window coverings and encouraging preventative action in homes, including vacation homes or holiday dwellings where young children live or visit.

Unsafe window covering cords and children, particularly those under 3 years, can become a deadly mix. Consequences of entanglement in unsafe window covering cords can be:

  • Strangulation by obstruction of airway;
  • Neurological damage from oxygen deprivation;
  • Unconsciousness within 15 seconds;
  • Death in two to three minutes.


Safety messages for parents and caregivers 

  • Unsafe window covering cords and children, particularly those under 3 years, can become a deadly mix.
  • Children can strangle when they become entangled in the cord loop at their neck.
  • Incidents have involved children up to 9 years of age but most often have occurred to children under the age of 3.
  • Strangulation deaths and injuries can occur anywhere in a house where an unsafe corded window covering is installed.
  • Strangulation has occurred most often in children’s bedrooms and in living rooms, areas generally perceived by care givers as safe.
  • Strangulation happens quickly and silently.
  • Child safe window blinds and shades are available for sale today. 


Safe use

  • Examine all shades and blinds for accessible cords on the front, side and back.
  • Do not place cribs, beds and furniture close to the windows because children can climb on them and gain access to window covering cords. This is recommended both at home and when visiting.
  • Use cordless or inaccessible cord window coverings in homes with young children or window coverings fitted with safety devices to keep cords out of reach of young children.
  • Check regularly that cords are out of reach of young children and cannot form hazardous loops. Tie the cords up or use one of the many safety devices such as cleats, cord tidies, clips or ties that are readily available. 

Note: Check with your local or national consumer product safety authority for further information. 


OECD poster

Campaign Participants

Injury Data

European Commission's infographic


Join the campaign

If you want to get involved tweet #SafeWindowCoverings and #Cortinasseguras (#SafeCurtains). For more information about the campaign please visit the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission website.


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