There is a common danger in homes, day care centers, schools, and other facilities. The common danger is in the form of window blinds. There are injury risks associated with window blind cords including those related to bruises, cuts, scrapes, and most significantly strangulation. While it is well known and widely reported that window blind cords represent a significant risk to small children, reports of injuries continue to take place because safety precautions were not taken by the applicable child care provider.
It is estimated that approximately 17,000 children under the age of six years old were admitted to a hospital between the time period of 1990 and 2015 due to window blind related personal injuries. The same report estimated that one child per month died as a result of window blind cord strangulation during this time period. Toddlers and small children have poor safety awareness. As such, what appears to be fun to a toddler can actually pose a significant danger. The report on window blind injuries gathered together data from emergency rooms. As such, there are most likely more injuries that took place than were part of this study.
While there have been proposals and recommendations by the United States Product Safety Commission as to standards to make cords covered and / or unreachable by children, these recommendations have not been approved or placed into law as of yet.
The best safety measure to have window blinds without cords or window blinds with safety measures in place that make these cords unreachable. It is also important that child care providers and parents keep a close watch on all children and especially infants and toddlers who are at risk for injury from common household objects like window blind cords. Make sure that rooms are set up in a way that prevent or limit climbing by children onto any furniture. Children are curious and what seems like an adventure to a child can be quite dangerous which can, in turn, lead to serious personal injuries and even the death of a child.
When a case or claim for a child injury is evaluated for potential legal representation, there are four elements that need to be established as follows:
Breach of Duty;
Let’s take an example to show the elements in play. Let’s say that a 2 year old child is enrolled in a day care center. During free play, the child climbs up on a couch and gets caught up in a window blind cord. Tragically, the child is strangled by the cord and dies as a result of asphyxiation. In this example, the day care center had a duty to provide a reasonably safe environment and a duty to provide reasonable supervision. The day care center breached this duty in having this dangling window blind cord in place and in failing to supervise the child. These breaches of duty were the cause of the damages which was the wrongful death of the child.
Based in Jacksonville, Florida, David Wolf is a personal injury and child injury attorney with over 27 years of experience. He has represented children and their families in a wide variety of legal matters including those related to day care center negligence and neglect. He is the author of 11 books including the book titled The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know. You can get a copy of this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury. You can contact David Wolf days, nights, weekends, and holidays if you have a question or concern about a child injury or incident. David Wolf firmly believes in Giving a Voice to Injured Children and Their Families.