A 6-year-old girl died in Maryland earlier this month when she became entangled in the cord of a window blind. A relative tried to resuscitate the child, who was found unconscious, but the girl was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Our child injury law firm has blogged about window blind accidents in the past, and we now would like to remind consumers that window blinds are a leading hazard in homes. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, a child dies every month in a strangulation accident involving a window covering cord.
The cords can be especially dangerous if they are exposed and/or dangling, which can make them easy for a young child or even a baby to reach. This is why industry and safety officials now want people to only use cordless window coverings or blinds with cords that are not accessible, in homes where there are young kids.
Since 1999, reports the CPSC, over 200 children and infants have died in a window cord strangulation accident. Even more tragic than the child deaths is that these tragic accidents are preventable.
In addition to manufacturers opting to only make cordless window blinds, or blinds with cords that cannot be reached, there are also ways that parents and other adults can keep kids away from window blind cords, including (Windowcoverings.org):
- Make sure all window cords are out of reach
- Don’t put any furniture, including cribs, beds, sofas, or other climbable surface near a window blind.
- Buy only window blinds without cords
- If a window blind has a tassled pull cord, make sure it is adjusted to its shortest length and out of reach
- If your blinds or drapes come with continuous-loop cords, make sure they are attached to the floor or wall with a tension device and/or pulled tight
- Correctly install any cord stops
True, consumers should always take safety precautions and minimize any risks, but why keep making products with features that are so inherently safe that much has to be done to make them less hazardous because otherwise a child or baby could sustain a brain injury, choke, suffocate, get strangled, or die?
Over one billion blinds exist in the US alone. In 2011,The New York Times reported that for about a quarter of a century, window blind makers have been including safety features and providing safety tips to try to decrease the dangers involving their products. Still, seeing as at least one child a month is getting entangled and strangled in a window blind cord, the measures are clearly not working.
Also, as the newspaper pointed out, it’s not as if window blinds need cords to function. Cordless blinds have been an option years, only they are harder to make and come with a more expensive price tag, which means that this could reduce the number of sales. Retractable cords in window blinds are also an option.
You should know that even if a product is not defective and is used as intended, if it is the cause of a child injury or death, the victim’s family could have grounds for a products liability case. Contact ourwindow blinds injury lawyers at The Gilbert Law Group® today.