We all know that the combination of cords and kids do not mix well, and sometimes that recipe can be a deadly one for small children. But do we…All ‘know’ that is? Most folks must know of the hazard, but a new study shows there is a small subset that do not. And somewhere in that subset of people live ‘little people’, little people that like to play, and twist, and fool around with stuff, just like we did when we were 3 yrs. old. So when it comes to child safety (with regards to blind cords/chains), we need to ask ourselves, “Who’s responsibility is this anyway, and what can we do about it?”
Before I go there, let’s not forget what the “real” goal is. And there is only one, and across the board, hands down, for all nations, it’s to SAVE KID’S LIVES. Period, the end, that’s the goal, and there is no disputing it.
So whose responsibility is it to make people aware? Well, the answer is… it’s mine. And you are me, and every day you and I have the ‘ability’ to ‘respond’ to situations that can make people just a little more aware. And that’s what responsibility is, the ‘ability’ to ‘respond’. Creating awareness is how we can contribute. You and I do not have control over anything marked ‘Standards’ or anything labeled ‘Regulations’, or what language the orange warning stickers are written in, but we have control over child safety by creating a little more awareness for it. That is our respond-ability as installers, as designers, as retailers, as sales reps, and as workrooms. Creating and spreading awareness is our obligation as an ‘occupational family’.
So, what’s the big idea, and where do we start? Well, it’s real simple. We start in OUR OWN backyards. We start within our own communities, our own showrooms, our own websites and make sure every one of our customers knows the ABC’s of Window Coverings. (Awareness of Blind Cords).
Do some of your customers think you are installing the safety devices just to keep the cords off the floor so they don’t get dirty? Maybe your customer or retailer doesn’t even know about the safety issue at all. Are you selling to someone that doesn’t ‘know’? One thing I started doing with all my customers when I’m measuring their windows is to ask one simple question: “Do you have small children or do small children visit ?” Whether they answer ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, I continue with, “I’m asking because the industry has cordless, child safe, and motorized options which are available”. With those simple words, I now know I taught someone their ABC’s’ …and you know what? Maybe they pass it on.
Look, we all know this is a tricky subject, but let’s not fear it. Let’s not avoid it. Somehow, let’s be creative and make sure every single customer that we work with ‘knows’. By them knowing, we have contributed to the goal. And what’s more important than that in life, knowing that something you said, or did, or had someone read, actually could of had the wheels to stop a kid from getting hurt, or better, saved his life?
Opportunities will present themselves to each of us, and soon our backyards will touch and the dangerousness will be forced to reduce itself.
Uniting in this child safety awareness initiative is key for our industry, and supporting the ABC’s on Facebook with a quick ‘like’ is a good first big step.
Hope to see you there,
- Rick Carlan