Doctor calls for ban on window blind cords after child deaths

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A common household object is responsible for thousands of accidental injuries in children – and in some cases, even deaths.

Doctors say window blind cords present a strangulation risk. A new study from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus found that cords have killed 271 children between 1990 and 2015. Nearly 17,000 other young children were hurt by window blinds.

The study recommends a complete ban on the cords.

Lead author Dr Gary Smith said the highest risk group are children between ages of one and four

“This is when they gain mobility, they’re toddlers, they’re curious, they explore their environment, but they have no idea what’s dangerous,” Smith said. “Within minutes, they’re going to strangle. And often they don’t make any noise because they can’t move any air.”

Simbe Wilson, a grandmother to a four year old girl, said she never really thought window blinds could pose a danger to children. But now that she’s heard about the study, it’s on her mind.

“I can see with them running to the windows, or even playing with that little thing on the side, pulling it, they could get caught up in there and that could be dangerous if they’re unattended to,” Wilson said.

Jessica Saunders of Dayton Children’s Hospital called the cords a “hidden danger” that can be found in every home.

“they don’t know any better to not play with cords or strings, and they can’t really sense danger,” Saunders said of children.

“So first of all, always look around your house and know what your house may or may not have. with or without the law being there, there’s always a problem with these types of cords.”

But Saunders said there are some things you can do to keep kids safe – like purchasing cord wind-ups. They allow you to wrap the cord around a hook, out of the reach of curious toddlers.

Wilson said now that she knows the risks, she’ll take care.

“Yes I will,” Wilson said. “My granddaughter’s mother, my niece’s cousin, everybody with children in my family, I will tell them to be on the lookout for that and monitor the children at all times.”

The window covering manufacturers association says its working towards a safety standard for manufacturers to go cordless or have inaccessible cords.Grab the FREE WDTN News App for iPhone or Android. Stay up to date with all the local news, weather and sports as well as live newscasts and events as they happen. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all the latest news, weather and sports.

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