Following the deaths of four children in the past three weeks - all of whom strangled in cords hanging from window coverings - a coalition of product safety groups issued a warning and asked for the government to take action.
The groups - Parents for Window Blind Safety, Consumer Federation of America, and Independent Safety Consulting - asked the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
to create mandatory standards the window covering industry must follow.
The window covering industry has promoted a voluntary safety standard, and maintains its own safety site
, after a series of large recalls a few years ago.
The deaths include a 6-year-old girl in Maryland, a 3-year-old girl in Texas, a 4-year-old boy in Georgia, and a 2-year old boy in Maryland.
Nearly 300 deaths due to strangulation in cords from window coverings have been documented between 1996 and 2012.
“It is time for CPSC to take action to protect children from the hazards posed by cords on window coverings," said Linda Kaiser, founder and president of Parents for Window Blind Safety. "Every day the Commission does not act, children are put at risk. Four children dying in three weeks is tragic, unacceptable and preventable.”
Her daughter, Cheyenne Rose, strangled in a window blind cord.
Because of the continuing problem with strangulations, the groups are renewing their call for new rules.
"A strong mandatory standard by the CPSC is necessary to protect children," said Rachel Weintraub, legislative director and senior counsel at Consumer Federation of America. "For almost 20 years, the voluntary standard has failed to address the strangulation posed to children. In light of the history of the voluntary standard, the documented and persistent hazard that cords on window coverings pose to children, and these recent deaths, it is time for CPSC to act."