Bring An Equalizer to the Fight. Choose a Firm That Was Created to Advocate for Victims.

Study Calls for a Complete Ban on Dangerous Window Blinds with Cords

Public awareness campaigns have failed to slow the number of child deaths associated with corded window blinds, according to a new study. The findings have prompted renewed efforts to completely ban window blinds with cords due to their inherent risks to small children.

As we have discussed on this San Diego Injury Blog, corded window blinds pose a serious strangulation hazard. The problem is that children can wrap the cords from blinds and other window coverings around their necks or can pull cords and become entangled in the loops.

Latest Window Cord Injury Study Is Alarming

Nearly one child dies every month in window blind-related incidents, according to a new study. From 1990 to 2015, nearly 17,000 children younger than 6 were treated in emergency rooms for window-blind related injuries in the United States.

Entanglement injuries accounted for 11.9 percent of all cases, and among this subgroup, 98.9 percent involved blind cords, and 80.7 percent were to the neck. Among the entanglement-related injuries, 29.3 percent were hospitalized, and 12.9 percent resulted in death.

To generate the statistics, researchers examined data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System and In-Depth Investigation (IDI) databases. The results were recently published in the journal Pediatrics.

New Window Blind Standard Doesn’t Go Far Enough

Voluntary safety standards currently exist for window coverings. Over the past several years, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has also recalled over five million window coverings, including Roman shades, roller and roll-up blinds, vertical and horizontal blinds, for posing strangulation risks and other hazards. However, as the study highlights, the existing measures are not working to prevent fatal injuries.

The CPSC is in the first stage of implementing mandatory rulemaking on window coverings. The revised voluntary standard, ANSI/WCMA 100.1, will require all “stock” products (e.g. produced prior to an order and sold both online and in retail stores) to have either no operating cords in window blinds, no accessible operating cords, or short operating cords (eight inches or less, which is not long enough to wrap around a child’s neck).

The new standard, however, would still allow consumers to custom order blinds with dangerous cords. Because custom blinds account for 20 percent of all blinds purchased in the United States, safety advocates argue that a complete ban is needed. "Seventy years ago we recognized that this was a product that was killing kids," said study author Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. "We should put child safety first."

The CPSC advises parents and caregivers that the best option is to install only cordless blinds in homes with young children.

If your child or someone you love has suffered serious harm due to a defective or dangerous product, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation. We have the knowledge and experience to protect your legal rights.