Recent Study Suggests 17,000 Children Have Suffered Blind-Related Injuries
Nearly all homes have window blinds with blind cords. Yet if your household has young children, do these blind cords pose a serious risk of child injury? According to an article in USA Today, “while the cords dangling from your window blinds may not seem like a risky item, for small children, they can pose the risk of strangulation or serious injury.”
A recent study in the journal Pediatrics determined that, between 1990-2015, approximately 17,000 kids under the age of six have suffered severe child injuries from blind cords that have required visits to emergency departments. To put that figure another way, “about one child each month died when their neck became entangled in a window blind cord.” Although the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Center for Injury Research and Policy reports that a majority of children who suffer blind-related injuries are released from the emergency department, the number of kids who sustain severe and life-threatening injuries is sufficiently high that we need to reconsider blind cord safety.
What can parents do to prevent blind-related injuries? According to the study, many people think that simply watching their kids can prevent these child injuries from occurring. However, even the most diligent parents may not be able to stop a blind-related injury from happening. According to Gary Smith, the senior author of the study, these injuries often happen too quickly for a parent to react. More precisely, Smith explained, “a curious child can quickly get entangled in a window blind cord,” and “this can lead to strangulation within minutes, and the parent may not hear a thing because the child often can’t make a sound while this is happening.”
Child Injury Facts and Figures
Children between the ages of one and four are at greatest risk of a blind-related injury. If monitoring kids is not always sufficient to prevent blind-related injuries, what should be done? The authors of the study argue that federal safety standards should change, and that consumers should no longer be able to purchase blinds with cords that are accessible to young kids. The only real solution, according to the study, is to “replace all blinds with cords, or purchase retrofit kits that can address some of the cord hazards.” In the event that you cannot replace your blinds, please be extremely careful not to leave your child alone for a long time in any area of your home that contains dangerous blinds.
In the unfortunate event that your child recently suffered an injury as a result of a bind cord, contact a child injury lawyer to determine your rights.