October is National Window Covering Safety Month. Tragically, children have silently suffered catastrophic injuries or strangled to death on cords for window coverings like blinds and drapes. It doesn’t take much time for a child to get a cord caught around his or her neck. As a matter of safety, it is wise for parents and caregivers to install cordless blinds. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently advised consumers to buy and install cordless window coverings in those rooms where their children are. It is expected the CPSC will issue a new rule to regulate corded window coverings that are stock items, though custom items will likely remain unaddressed.
Generally, you can buy a cordless window covering at most major retailers and online retailers. Many of these are quite affordable. Certain safety steps should be taken if you can’t replace your existing corded blinds. The cords that remain should be made as short as feasible to keep them out of reach of children. Cords that cannot be made any shorter should be tucked out of reach or anchored to the wall. Stops should be properly adjusted to stop the inner lift cords from moving. A baby’s crib or child’s bed should be moved away from both the window and any cords that are attached to window coverings.
The CPSC has reported that around 9 children who are five or younger died every year when strangled by the cords on window coverings. Children as old as 8 have also been at risk of strangulation hazards; there were 200 incidents from January 2009 – December 2020.
Injuries caused by strangulation can include not only scars, but also brain damage and quadriplegia. It only takes a brief period for a child who is not getting oxygen to sustain permanent harm. An infant who is deprived of oxygen for three minutes is likely to suffer serious brain damage. When a child loses oxygen for 10 minutes, there will be death of brain cells and poor prognosis. Brain damage is permanent, and recovery is unlikely after 15 minutes without oxygen.
Liability for Catastrophic Injuries
When you consult us about a corded blind accident, we would need to examine the particular circumstances to determine the appropriate grounds under which to pursue relief. If there was a defect in the cord of the blinds that resulted in a small child or infant getting strangled to death, it is likely our lawyers would need to file a product liability lawsuit to recover damages for wrongful death. Corded blinds could be defective in terms of their manufacturing, design, or marketing. There are also situations in which a property owner may be held accountable for a dangerous property condition involving injuries to children arising out of corded blinds in a premises liability lawsuit.
Even when cords are set away from small children, they may catch ahold of them. If your child died due to strangulation by a cord, you may have grounds to sue for damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Consult a Seasoned Product Liability Lawyer
If your child suffered injuries or wrongful death due to strangulation by corded blinds, you should discuss what happened with our Chicago product liability lawyers at the Moll Law Group. We represent parents of small children across the country. Contact us online or call us at 312.462.0427.