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Window covering cords can KILL

23 June 2016
by anec -- last modified 23 June 2016

The OECD Global Awareness Campaign on Window Covering Cord Safety runs from 23 to 30 June. ANEC joins OECD in wanting to ensure parents are aware of the risks that window blind cords can pose to young children.


Roller blinds, or other window blinds, are found in many homes. Sadly, children are at risk of injury - even strangulation - from the cords used to operate blinds. Even more regrettably, there have been cases of children dying after becoming entangled in cords.

In 2010, ANEC alerted the European Commission to the need for a strengthening of the European Standard, EN 13120. The Commission responded through issuing a Decision and mandate to CEN to address risks posed to children by internal blinds and corded window coverings.

The work, in which ANEC was a key participant, led to the adoption of 3 European Standards that introduced requirements for safety devices to stop cords or chains from forming a hazard; for the installation & testing of these devices; for warnings & instructions and the packaging and point-of-sale information.

Stephen Russell, ANEC Secretary-General, said, "ANEC was delighted to help CEN develop these standards in the public interest. Nevertheless, blinds already installed in homes continue to cause concern. We believe heightening public awareness is vital in countering the risk and hence we support the OECD #SafeWindowCovering campaign".

For blinds already installed, ANEC advises parents to keep cords out of the reach of children; to check that corded window coverings cannot form hazardous loops, and to ensure a cot, bed or playpen is not placed close to a window with corded blinds. Parents should also seek guidance from retailers about the use of safety accessories to reduce the risks from blind cords.

ANEC is the European consumer voice in standardisation, defending consumer interests in the processes of technical standardisation and conformity assessment, as well as related legislation and public policies.

ANEC, the European association for the coordination of consumer representation in standardisation

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ANEC acts as the voice of the European consumer in the development of European legislation related to consumer products and services, and in the elaboration of European technical standards intended to support the implementation of that legislation.

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