Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Protecting your little ones from window blind cords

Image by George Hodan

Tragically, a six-year-old Maryland girl died on Saturday after being entangled in the cord of the window blinds in her home. Despite the efforts of the one of her family members who was performing CPR when the paramedics arrived and despite their efforts, this precious child was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Most window cord strangulation cases involve children aged five and under. It is unclear in the news reports exactly how she became so entangled in the cord that it killed her, but I can't let this news pass by without issuing a warning of my own for those of you who have children living in or visiting your home.

My own experience includes a time when my cat jumped down from the window sill and somehow got his hind leg wrapped up in the cord. Fortunately, I was home when I heard his yowls. When I got to my office, I found him hanging by his leg. Thank God it wasn't his neck.

While I still have blinds on my windows, I am careful not to let the cords hang loose. Here are some tips from Safe Kids Worldwide for keeping your children safe.

• Keep cords and strings, including those attached to window blinds, out of your child's reach. Move all cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from windows and window cords.
• Use cordless blinds in homes with young children.
• Examine existing shades and blinds for exposed cords. Cords should be placed out of reach and furniture near the window should be moved.
• Install a tension device can also be installed on nylon cords to keep them taunt.
• If you live in an apartment building or home where you are not allowed to replace your window coverings, follow basic window cord safety rules and order free retrofit kits from the Window Covering Safety Council at www.windowcoverings.org.

Click here to download a pdf file on other ways to keep your kids safe from choking and strangulation. And please check out the video below for some lifesaving advice.

A little bit of prevention can go a long way toward keeping your kids, and your pets, safe!

Caring about the little ones,

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