Window Coverings Safety Devices Contractor Reports Coverings... The focus group participants...

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  • CPSC Staff’s Statement1 on Westat, “Effectiveness of Safety Devices in Reducing the Risk of Child’s Access to Hazardous Cords and Loops: Final Report” and “Effectiveness of Safety Devices in Reducing

    the Risk of Child’s Access to Hazardous Cords and Loops: Focus Group Final Report”

    October 2016

    The reports titled, “Effectiveness of Safety Devices in Reducing the Risk of Child’s Access to Hazardous Cords and Loops: Final Report,” and “Effectiveness of Safety Devices in Reducing the Risk of Child’s Access to Hazardous Cords and Loops: Focus Group Final Report,” present the findings of research conducted by Westat, under Contract CPSC-Q-15-0064.

    The objective of the research was to provide CPSC with systematic and objective data on the factors that impact installation, use, and maintenance of safety devices; assess how these factors impact the likelihood of correct installation, use, and maintenance; and identify how the factors relate to the goal of reducing children’s access to hazardous cords and loops.

    Westat reviewed the window coverings and safety devices available in brick-and-mortar and online stores; performed task analysis to identify key issues and specific questions to be addressed in the focus groups; developed materials and procedures for the focus group; and conducted the focus groups.

    Major findings from the study point to:

    (1) A general awareness on cord entanglement among caregivers, which does not translate to precautionary action, due partly to the insufficient information provided at the point of sale;

    (2) Lack of awareness of the speed and mechanism of the injury that may lead to caregivers’ underestimating the importance of providing an adequate level of supervision;

    (3) Difficulty using and installing safety devices as primary reasons for not using them; and

    (4) Inability to recognize the purpose of the safety devices provided with window coverings. In general, participants preferred a cordless window covering or a passive mechanism, which does not require intentional action by the user.

    Westat concluded that there could be benefits from enhancing the public’s awareness and understanding of the unique nature of incidents (e.g., speed, mechanism) and explaining a child’s vulnerability in all rooms in the home, and that providing specific information at the point of sale, could

    1 This statement was prepared by the CPSC staff, and the attached report was produced by Westat for CPSC staff. The statement and report have not been reviewed or approved by, and do not necessarily represent the views of, the Commission.

  • be partially helpful. However, Westat stated that these improvements would be incremental, and that increasing the use of cordless window coverings would be needed to achieve significant benefits.

    The attached two reports describe the methods used in the study, and these reports explain Westat’s findings regarding consumer awareness of the hazard, purchasing and installing safety devices, eliminating children’s access to cords; using and maintaining safety devices, and final recommendations.

  • Effectiveness of Safety Devices in Reducing the Risk of Child’s Access to Hazardous Cords and Loops

    Final Report Authors

    Sharon Levi Amy Benedick Neil Lerner Doreen De Leonardis Rick Huey

    July 12, 2016

    Prepared for: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission 5 Research Place Rockville, MD 20850

    Prepared by: Westat An Employee-Owned Research Corporation® 1600 Research Boulevard Rockville, Maryland 20850-3129 (301) 251-1500

  • Acknowledgements

    This research was sponsored by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) under contract CPSC-F-15-0089, Effectiveness of Safety Devices in Reducing the Risk of Child’s Access to Hazardous Cords and Loops. The material contained herein does not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the CPSC. The authors wish to thank Dr. Rana Balci-Sinha, the CPSC Contracting Officer Representative, and other CPSC staff for valuable input throughout the project.

    Important technical contributions were made by a number of Westat project staff, including Sarah Yahoodik, Elizabeth Janniello, Joanna Nelson, Jeremy Walrath, and James Jenness.

  • Table of Contents Executive Summary ............................................................................................................................................................ 1

    1. Background ................................................................................................................................................................. 3

    2. Methods ....................................................................................................................................................................... 4

    2.1 Overview of set of methods ................................................................................................................................... 4

    2.2 Review of source materials ..................................................................................................................................... 5

    2.3 Store visits ................................................................................................................................................................. 6

    2.4 Website content ........................................................................................................................................................ 7

    2.5 Purchasing experience ............................................................................................................................................. 8

    2.6 Installation and operation experience ................................................................................................................... 8

    2.7 Focus groups .......................................................................................................................................................... 10

    3. Results ........................................................................................................................................................................ 14

    3.1 Summary of information sources: literature, store visits, websites ................................................................ 14

    3.2 Summary of analyst experience: online experience, purchasing, installation ............................................... 18

    3.3 Summary of focus group findings ....................................................................................................................... 21

    3.3 Summary of findings ............................................................................................................................................. 25

    4. Discussion ................................................................................................................................................................. 33

    4.1 Key findings..................................................................................................................................................... 33

    4.1.1 Consumer awareness ................................................................................................................................. 33

    4.1.2 Purchasing and installation ....................................................................................................................... 34

    4.1.3 Child accessibility to cords ....................................................................................................................... 36

    4.1.4 Safety devices .............................................................................................................................................. 37

    4.2 Shortcomings and lessons learned ............................................................................................................... 38

    4.3 Recommendations .......................................................................................................................................... 39

    Appendix A: Review of Source Materials ................................................................................................................... A-1

    Appendix B: Product Profile Report ........................................................................................................................... B-1

    Appendix C: Summary of Installation and Operation Experience ......................................................................... C-1

    Appendix D: Focus Group Moderator Guide .......................................................................................................... D-1

  • 1

    Executive Summary Background

    This report documents the methods and findings of the CPSC project “Effectiveness of Safety Devices in Reducing the Risk of Child’s Access to Hazardous Cords and Loops.” There is a significant safety concern regarding injuries to children associated with window coverings, such as blinds and shades. In particular, young children may become entangled with accessible cords and loops, resulting in strangulation. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that on average a minimum of 11 fatal strangulations related to window covering cord and loops occurred per year in the United Stat