Kids and cords don’t mix.
The slogan for the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) Window Covering Cords Information Center reminds care givers nearly one child dies each month after becoming entangled in window covering cords. However, in just the last six weeks alone, four children from across the country, ages 3 to 4, have been strangled to death by window covering cords, according to the CPSC and the Palm Beach Post.
“These window covering strangulations are so complicated, but the most important factor is that it happens to the best of parents. Parents who trusted that either tying up cords, cutting cords short or using breakaway devices would prevent their children from death,” Linda Kaiser, Founder and President of Parents for Window Blind Safety, told the Palm Beach Post. “It is paramount that consumers use window coverings with no pull cords in their homes.”
In November, the 3-year-old daughter of former NFL running back Reno Mahe died six days after being found with a mini blind cord wrapped around her neck. After a second neurological test confirmed brain death, the Mahes decided to donate their daughter’s organs, according to NBC Today.
The Parents for Window Blind Safety (PFWBS) estimate 293 deaths and 1,600 near-strangulations from window covering cords occurred from 1996 to 2012. A majority of near-strangulations involved 5-year-olds.
“Blind cords and baby deaths. Remember those horrible stories? They’re not new,” writes Petula Dvorak in her Washington Post column on blind cord safety. “And the worst part is, they haven’t gone away because the blinds industry — with some notable exceptions — has been reluctant to stop making window treatments that are dangerous for kids. And government regulators haven’t made them do so, despite pleading from parents.”
After six attempts to update voluntary industry standards to try to reduce the number of accidents caused by blind cords, PFWBS hopes the seventh revision that is currently underway will begin a shift in the right direction. The organization advises all blinds in a home be cordless.