Pediatricians: Window Blind Cords Still a Danger to Kids

Texas pediatricians says there is a silent killer in your home--window blinds, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Between 1990 and 205, nearly 17,000 U.S. children younger than 6 were injured by window blinds, and one child per month died from strangulation from the blind cords.

"We were really surprised that this type of injury from the blinds still exists," said Dr. Amalia Guardiola, a pediatrician with UTHealth-Houston and UT Physicians.  "Most of the time, we believe it is an example of the parents simply not being aware of the dangers of the cord."

Dr. Guardiola says blinds manufacturers must come up with new ways to retract window blinds, without cords, or with cords that are not accessible to children.

She says parents need to be aware of the danger as well."Part of our job is not only to treat the injuries, but also to warn parents to always be looking for dangerous items around the house," she said.

Pediatricians say parents should make sure that corded blinds in any home with babies or toddlers be replaced with less dangerous blinds.  She says simply keeping the cord out of the reach of babies is not enough.

She says the dangers of window blinds have been known for some seventy years, but the risk has not been removed.  Dr. Guardiola says it would not be difficult to come up with a cordless system for retracting window blinds.

"Having blinds without cords would be our preference, but we ask parents to remove the cords, to prevent the children from reaching them."

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