“She stuck her fingers in between the flaps of the blind and pulled on the cord, which formed a noose. She put that noose around her head and eventually sat down and didn’t know how to save herself and strangled that way.”
That tragic tale was told by Linda Kaiser, whose one-year-old daughter died in 2002. From 1996 to 2012, those cords have killed or seriously injured a startling 293 children. Now, Kaiser is trying to get the Consumer Product Safety Commission to force manufacturers to produce safer blinds.
In February, a six-year-old girl in Maryland, 3-year-old girl in Texas, and a four-year-old boy in Georgia all strangled on the window cords. On March 1, another two-year-old boy passed away, marking the fourth death in three weeks.
“Instead of a wand and a cord, there are two cords so that’s an issue we are dealing with and we’re trying to address that with our petition at the Consumer Product Safety Commission,” Kaiser, the founder and president of Parents for Window Blind Safety, said.
She is not alone. In addition to her organization, which was formed in 2002, Kaiser is getting support from the Consumer Federation of America and Independent Safety Consulting.
“A strong mandatory standard by the CPSC is necessary to protect children. For almost 20 years, the voluntary standard has failed to address the strangulation posed to children. In light of the history of the voluntary standard, the documented and persistent hazard that cords on window coverings pose to children, and these recent deaths, it is time for CPSC to act,” said Rachel Weintraub, legislative director and senior counsel at Consumer Federation of America.
For a long time, the CPSC has recognized that the cords can be dangerous. It even lists asphyxiation to children as one of the five most prevalent hidden dangers in the home on its website.
If new regulations are not put in place, homeowners can use inexpensive coverings that hide the cords and keep kids safe.
There are a number of different potential problems that parents need to worry about in the home, and getting rid of them is always a good idea. Unfortunately, window treatments are proving to be one of the more dangerous.