The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is making a big push to completely eliminate potentially dangerous window blinds and coverings that pose strangulation hazards to young children.
According to a WPVI news report, the safety agency estimates that over the last two decades, nearly one child has died every month from corded window blinds and hundreds more have been injured.
Young children pull on these blinds and wrap them around their necks increasing the risk of a fatal strangulation.
The CPSC issued a warning 30 years ago about the dangers of blinds. Since then, companies that manufacture these window coverings have made safety improvements to blinds with cords. Now, many companies have progressed to cordless blinds.
Safety advocates say these changes have substantially lowered the number of fatalities and injuries caused by corded blinds. In fact, the number of fatalities have been slashed by half, which is good news.
However, the bad news is that CPSC says the government cannot order a ban on corded blinds, which are still sold and are out there. Children are still at risk even with the altered corded blinds. Some companies are still rolling the dice and taking what they can in terms of profits.
The CPSC wants a safer standard to eliminate the danger. But the industry is putting up resistance saying that the current standard, which is only voluntary, adequately addresses the issue of strangulation risk.
What Steps Can You Take?
Voluntary standards are never enough to get dangerous products away from unsuspecting consumers. If you have young children at home, if you are a caregiver or babysit grandchildren, it is important that you make your home safe for tiny visitors.
Here are a few tips:
- Replace corded blinds with cordless blinds.
- Do not place a child’s cot, crib, high chair or playpen near a window.
- Pull cords on curtains should be kept short and out of reach.
- Do not hang toys or objects that could be a hazard on the cot or bed.
- Don’t hang drawstring bags where a young child can get his or her head through the loop of the drawstring.
If your child has been injured by corded blinds, please contact an experienced product liability attorney who can help protect your child and help you secure compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses.