Safety Education: Childproofing the Classroom
NEW YORK (August 2013) – Window coverings are one of the top five hidden hazards in the home, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), but they may also pose a threat to young children in school environments. While gearing up for back to school, preparing the classroom for child safety is essential to avoiding potential hazards that may otherwise be overlooked.
Due to the potential dangers posed to young children by cords on shades, drapes and blinds, the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) is reminding educators, administrators and parents to check their window coverings to ensure all classrooms are safe for their students. All classrooms with young children should only have cordless window coverings, or coverings with cords that are tied down and inaccessible.
Teachers can reference the checklist provided below to safeguard their classroom and ensure a safe environment for all students:
- Check all window coverings to see if they have dangerous cords.
- Make sure tasseled pull cords are as short as possible. Continuous-loop pull cords on draperies and vertical blinds should be pulled tight and anchored to the floor or wall.
- Keep the floor clear of debris and check carpets for push pins, staples or other sharp items which can cause injury.
- Make sure all electrical outlets are securely covered.
- Check furniture for structural stability and loose or protruding screws, nails, hinges, latches or other hardware. Sharp edges and corners should be sanded down.
- Bookshelves and chests should be securely bolted to walls so they will not topple over if a child tries to climb them.
- Radios, televisions and electrical or audiovisual equipment should be anchored on a shelf or table with the cord out of children’s reach.
- Toys and blocks should be regularly washed and disinfected, as well as inspected for broken or loose pieces.
- Finally, check windows for secure locks and broken glass and make sure all furniture, desks and toys are moved away from the window area.
Teachers should be aware of the window coverings in their classroom and are encouraged to pass the message on to students and parents so they too are aware of the potential hazard in the home. To learn more about window-cord safety and other valuable safety tips, follow WCSC on Facebook and Twitter and visit the WCSC website at www.windowcoverings.org to order free retrofit kits for existing window coverings.
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Window Covering Safety Council
The Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) is a coalition of major U.S. manufacturers, importers and retailers of window coverings. The Council assists and supports its members in the industry’s ongoing efforts to encourage the use of cordless products in homes with young children, its redesign of corded products, and to support the national ANSI/WCMA standard for the safety of corded window coverings. WCSC’s activities in no way constitute an assumption of any legal duty owed by its members or any other entity. Consumers wishing to retrofit rather than replace their older window coverings can order free retrofit devices through WCSC’s website at www.windowcoverings.org or its toll-free phone line at 1-800-506-4636.