blindsOctober is National Window Covering Safety Month, a nationwide campaign co-sponsored by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Window Covering Safety Council.

The goal of the campaign, according to the council, is to “raise awareness of strangulation risks presented by window covering cords and chains” and to urge parents and caregivers to “replace all window coverings in the home made before 2001 with today’s safer products.”

The Consumer Product Safety Commissions says that since 1990, more than 200 infants and young children have died from accidentally strangling in window cords. In recent years, window-covering manufacturers have produced redesigned products to reduce cord hazards, according to the commission, however, the risk remains. Parents are especially advised not to tie cords together, as that creates a new loop and could cause a child to become entangled.

The follow are window-covering safety tips offered by the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

• Move all cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from windows and window cords, preferably to another wall.

• Keep all window cords out of the reach of children. Make sure that tasseled pull cords are short, and that continuous-loop cords are permanently anchored to the floor or wall.

• Lock cords into position when lowering horizontal coverings or shades to prevent inner-cord hazards.

• Repair window coverings, corded shades and draperies manufactured before 2001 with retrofit cord-repair devices, or replace them with today’s safer products.

• Consider installing cordless window coverings in children’s bedrooms and play areas.

Consumers possessing window coverings purchased before 2001 can obtain a free repair kit from the Window Covering Safety Council’s website at www.windowcoverings.org or by calling 1-800-506-4636. Individuals can also visit www.cpsc.gov to learn more about window covering safety.