(WPRI) -- Eyewitness News is helping you protect your family from a deadly danger. The impact is staggering and tragic.
We've learned that on average, one child dies every month from being strangled by the cord of a window covering. The Consumer Product Safety Commission even goes as far as calling window blinds one of the most dangerous products in your home for children.
- Interactive: Window Blind Safety
Grieving families have a message for you; strangulation by window blind cords is preventable in most cases. Many families who have lost a child in a tragic accident with a window blind cord, or have had a child injured, are sharing their stories online. They're hoping their heartbreaking stories of loss will convince other parents that window blinds are a danger to be taken very seriously.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there have been 261 incidents of children being strangled or severely injured by window blinds in the last 13 years. That's in the U.S. alone, with untold injuries before the CPSC started tracking such cases back in 1999.
Despite the tragic evidence, Eyewitness News has learned there are no mandatory standards to eliminate this choking hazard. There are voluntary standards that some window blind manufacturers choose to follow, but not all companies do.
Product Safety Expert Sean Kane tells Eyewitness News that "the voluntary standards address some of the hazards associated with corded blinds, but they don't eliminate all of the hazards in which a child can get entrapped."
The Consumer Product Safety Commission notes that even window coverings that include devices such safety tassels, breakaway tassels, cord joiners, or cleats have still led to deaths or injuries to children under the age of eight.
Even window coverings with child-safe cord stops are a potential hazard. The two strings on the pull cord can still tangle and form a loop that a child could potentially become entrapped in. That's why the group Parents for Window Blind Safety only recommends cordless window coverings be used in homes where child under the age of eight live or visit. Safety experts say manufacturers can, and should make safer blinds.
"We're not talking rocket science," says Kane. "We're talking about designs that are already on the market."
We've learned the Consumer Product Safety Commission is currently working with window covering manufacturers to address strangulation hazards with a new set of safety requirements.
For a full list of recalled blinds, visit the CPSC's website.
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