Who knew window blinds could be so hazardous to a child’s health? Still, according to a recent study, window blinds result in a kiddo’s death monthly with two children injured daily by the decorative window coverings.
CNN reported recently that the research was conducted from 1990 to 2015, where close to 17,000 kids aged six or younger hit emergency rooms due to window blind-related causes.
The study reviewed numbers via two nation-wide databases, which gathered date from field and hospital investigation info. While a majority of the injuries treated were minor, they did involve being hit by a window blind (i.e. a falling blind or one being pulled onto a child).
Still, entanglement was linked to almost 12 percent of the cases, which were linked to 80 percent of the hospitalizations and over 94 percent of the child deaths at that point in time. Nearly all the cases of entanglement were due to the cords on window blinds.
As per the study, close to all of the entanglements happened in the home, mostly in the living room or bedrooms, with close to 90 percent of all the cases happening while the kids were in the care of parents; however, almost none of these cases had a witness present. Entanglements occurred after kids went to sleep or while watching television or playing unsupervised; most times for only a few minutes.
Those particularly at risk are preschoolers and toddlers as the new mobility and curiosity they have can be a danger; they simply don’t recognize risks within the situations they place themselves and it is hard for them to break free.
The study did note that window covering manufacturers have placed a voluntary safety standard on products since 1996 and this has been altered a handful of times since.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission passed a unanimous-approved petition in 2014 to create a mandatory standard eliminating window blind cords accessible to kids. Still, as per the Commission, these mandatory rules are currently sitting within the first phase of the process.
The Window Covering Manufacturers Association proposed changing voluntary standard where “stock” window blinds could either have inaccessible cords or be cordless all together in 2017. As per the Association, this would be applied to blinds that were pre-made and bought online or in stores, and makes up over 80 percent of the window blind market within the United States; where blinds with cords would still be available in custom items. This updated standard awaits its last approval; however, the Association did state that window covering companies within U.S. and Canada will most likely need to comply to this by the final quarter in 2018.
If these new standards could save merely one life, then it would be well worth pushing them forward.