One of the top five home safety threats continues to remain on the market and in untold numbers of American households in spite of a recent recall effort initiated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Even though many manufacturers may not recognize the safety concerns, Billings parents may want to take another look at their household window blinds. The current recall involves a particular model of blinds manufactured by Blinds Express, but a parents’ advocacy group warns that any set of blinds with dangling looped cords may be a dangerous product when young children are present.

The tragic story that prompted the recall involved a two-year-old girl who was fatally strangled after becoming entangled in the cords of custom-manufactured vertical blinds. The dangling cord was not attached to the wall or floor and this particular model of blinds has no internal mechanism to prevent a child from pulling the cords free and potentially becoming entangled.

Unfortunately, the 2009 incident that led to the recall effort represents only one in an ongoing series of reports of serious and sometimes fatal injury resulting from children’s entanglement in blind cords and other window dressings. According to statistics, one child dies from entanglement in window coverings every month.

The father of the two-year-old who died in 2009 says that manufacturers know of the risks posed by loose cords but provide insufficient warnings to purchasers. Some parents have found their trapped children in time to free them from strangulation, but many others have not been so lucky.

Montana parents can take their own steps to reduce the risk of young children becoming entangled in window coverings, such as cutting the loops of cords and installing other window safety products. Nonetheless, even the best efforts at safety cannot entirely protect against the dangers of a faulty product. Parents of children who suffered serious injury caused by a defective product should know that they may be entitled to take legal action to ensure that a negligent manufacturer assumes fair responsibility.

Source: WEWS News, “Protecting your children from the dangers of blinds and window coverings,” Jenn Stratham, Oct. 11, 2012