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4 Toddler Strangulations Prompt Window Blind Warning

Four children died in the last month after getting caught up in pull cords.

Window coverings like this one pose a danger to infants, according to advocacy groups. Credit: Jason Claffey
Window coverings like this one pose a danger to infants, according to advocacy groups. Credit: Jason Claffey
By Jason Claffey

Consumer advocacy groups issued a warning about window coverings after four children died from strangulation accidents in the last month.

Each of the children died after they were caught up in a pull cord, according to the Consumer Federation of America.

The groups are demanding that the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission mandate safety standards for pull cords.

"It is time for CPSC to take action to protect children from the hazards posed by cords on window coverings," said Linda Kaiser, founder of Parents for Window Blind Safetyin a statement. "Every day the Commission does not act, children are put at risk. Four children dying in three weeks is tragic, unacceptable and preventable."

Kaiser started her group after her daughter died as a result of being strangled by a pull cord in 2002. Between 1996 and 2012, there have been 293 such deaths, according to the Consumer Federation of America.

The recent toddler deaths this year include:
  • A 6-year-old girl in Maryland who died Feb. 8
  • A 3-year-old girl in Texas on Feb. 15
  • A 4-year-old boy in Georgia on Feb. 17
  • A 2-year-old boy in Maryland on March 1

The groups said there are products already on the market that make pull cords inaccessible. They want the CPSC to mandate that all window coverings abide by that standard.

Beverly March 06, 2014 at 07:18 AM
I still tie the cords up and only have a yorkie dog left at home...just saying
Fred Oompahloompah March 06, 2014 at 07:42 AM
Children in home down to 0? Dogs 1? Keep up the good work Bev. #hangem high
HairMetalFan March 06, 2014 at 01:03 PM
I've known about that blind thing since the 80s. Today's parents must have no common sense.
Bree March 06, 2014 at 02:39 PM
Hello everybody on this chat! I am a window treatment professional and this is a HUGE problem in our industry. It is my job and obligation along with other window treatment professionals to tell our clients about cords in baby's rooms. However, most people in my industry do not say anything to their clients because they forget or don't sell products that are cordless. Well, I am here to say as a honest professional, it is my job to make sure my client knows about this epidemic. We are one of the few companies in Los Angeles, that distributes CORDLESS romans, cellular shades and woven. This is a line we carry that has a patent on it that most vendors do not sell! We suggest CORDLESS or basswood shutters for kids rooms. As a parent, it is important you know these hazards. The other day my mom and I were at a job and the client called us because she was really unhappy with the other company who did her window treatments. The client took us into her baby's room and showed us the roman shades that were right next to her baby's crib. Long behold, there were cords RIGHT NEXT to the baby's crib. Shame on that window treatment professional!!!! They should NEVER have sold that to her. After we told the client that it is super dangerous, she said "You're right!!! Why would that lady sell me roman shades with cords?" Just remember, to always ask. If you are in the LA area or know someone who lives here that needs window treatments, give us a call! We've been around since 1980. We are a small family owned business top rated on Houzz and Angie's List. www.jacobycompany.com (310) 476-3291 (818) 999-3468 -Bree Jacoby
GETALIFE March 06, 2014 at 06:45 PM
Duh...This is what happens when you don't watch your kids. I had kids and this was always a danger with many other things that can go wrong. The parents are dumb today. It comes down to. Watch your kids and don't leave them unintended for any long periods at a time. You should know your own kid. More than 5 minutes is to long.

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