Working with young students can be a deeply rewarding career, though it’s a big responsibility to keep a room full of young children safe and healthy each day. No matter how well educators try to plan ahead, kids are often unpredictable and can cause administrators, faculty, and staff to spend their workdays pulled in a thousand different directions. Unfortunately, even short distractions can have devastating consequences when kids access hazards that can be hidden throughout a school.

As safety regulations progress, schools are not always made immediately aware of the required changes or the most effective ways to implement them. Window coverings can be a veiled source of danger in classrooms, which is why there is such a movement across the country to improve window safety standards. Below are a few window blind cord strangulation prevention tips for schools that can help reduce the risk of severe injury for young students.

Window Safety Risks in Schools

The cords on blinds, curtains, and similar window coverings in classrooms can be an easily overlooked threat. Yet every year, these strings claim the lives of young children. In a matter of minutes, window blind cord strangulation can cause fatal injuries, brain damage, and paralysis.

Whenever possible, schools should install cordless window coverings. When cordless covers are not a viable option, cords should be no longer than 8 inches to help keep them from children’s reach, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Cords should always be tied as short as possible, have appropriate cord stops installed, and have the correct type of anchors and fasteners.

Window cover locations can impact safety, too. While all windows in a school building should have minimal cords, it is especially important to implement cordless or short-corded blinds in areas that are easily accessible to children. Classrooms for little ones and indoor play areas should get special attention above areas like administrative offices or rooms for older students.

Window areas should be clear of heavy furniture or objects that a child could climb. A cord that is tied far from the ground but can be reached from a sturdy desk or bookcase is still a significant danger.

The CPSC emphasizes that while certain safety measures can help reduce the risk of window blind cord strangulation, they cannot prevent these injuries the way that cordless coverings can.

Window Safety Regulations in Missouri Schools

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education provides several classroom safety requirements for the protection of students, from floor plans to fire alarms.

  • Classroom window safety regulations under 5 CSR 25 § 500 include:
  • Fall-prevention barriers in open windows
  • Secure screens on all windows and doors that can be opened
  • Window safety barriers should be removable in the event of an evacuation emergency
  • Windows made of safety glass, unbreakable glass, or protected by a fence or railing when less than 24 inches from the ground

Furthermore, the National Standard for Safety of Corded Window Covering Products requires window covering manufacturers and retailers to abide by minimum quality levels in the products. These companies must also perform appropriate safety testing and provide adequate warnings on the dangers of improper blind cord use. If they fail to follow these rules, it can lead to preventable injuries and deaths for which they may be held legally accountable.

Get Help From the Blind Cord Litigation Attorneys at OnderLaw

OnderLaw leads the nation in wrongful death window cover litigations and is a highly sought-after resource for window blind cord strangulation prevention tips for schools. Our team understands the laws and emotional complexities that apply to blind cord injuries and will support you with the utmost compassion in the wake of such an accident. Together, we can help you hold careless window manufacturers, retailers, and installers responsible for the hazards they have created, and continue to advocate for further window safety reform.

Call today to speak with a compassionate legal professional about your case.