Proposed Corded Window Coverings Regulations

Backgrounder

Why is Health Canada proposing new Corded Window Coverings Regulations?

Many corded window covering products on the market today pose a risk of injury or death to young children, who can be strangled by accessible cords, even when the products are compliant with current regulations.

That is why Health Canada is proposing to replace the current regulations with new Corded Window Coverings Regulations, which would:

  • restrict the length of cords that can be reached and the size of loops that can be created to help eliminate the risk of strangulation; and
  • require a warning on the product that states that the product should be disposed of if a long cord or large loop is ever exposed.

These proposed regulations would position Canada as a world leader in taking broad and decisive action on a serious and preventable risk to young children. 

Does this mean that the corded window coverings I have in my home are unsafe?

The safest window coverings are ones that have no cords that you can see or touch. Parents and caregivers are strongly encouraged to replace window coverings with cordless options that are now available on the market, starting with children’s rooms and places where children play. If you cannot make an immediate switch, make sure to always keep cords up high and out of the reach of children and to follow Health Canada’s window covering safety tips. These include:

  • Always keep cords out of reach.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions and read all warnings.
  • Never place cribs, beds and playpens near a window where a child could reach a cord.
  • Do not place any piece of furniture that a child can climb, near a window.
  • Attach tension devices supplied with corded window coverings securely to the wall so children can't place the cord around their neck.
  • Install a cleat or tie-down device up high on the wall and use it to keep cords out of reach.
  • Never tie knots in cords. Immediately untie any knots that form accidentally.
  • Remove any devices that form dangling loops, whether at the bottom, middle or top of the cords.

What has Health Canada done to try to minimize the risks of corded window coverings to this point?

Over the last thirty years, Health Canada undertook a variety of efforts to try to reduce the risks posed by corded window coverings; however, these efforts have not significantly reduced the fatality rate.

In the past, Health Canada has:

  • requested warning labels on products
  • implemented frequent consumer education campaigns and various public outreach strategies
  • issued 36 product recalls, along with advisories and consumer alerts
  • collaborated with other regulatory bodies on safety initiatives
  • engaged with industry stakeholders
  • conducted market surveys
  • encouraged elimination of the hazard
  • funded and participated in a Canadian Standards Association committee to write a national standard
  • enacted the Corded Window Covering Products Regulations to incorporate by reference the requirements of the national standard  
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