As parents, we work hard to create safe environments for our children. When you look around your home, it may seem safe –after all, you may have installed cabinet locks, padded corners, and safety gates. Even so, you may be unaware of everyday items that are instantaneously dangerous in the hands of a child. Window blinds may not strike as dangerous, but this seemingly harmless household fixture poses a serious risk to children, and concerned parents and safety officials across the country are speaking out.
According to the Los Angeles Times, window blinds and various mini-shades are a leading cause of household strangulation, and are responsible for the accidental deaths of more than 200 children in the U.S. over the last two decades.
Safety regulators are aware of this hazard, and recent regulations have been proposed to reduce the risk of strangulation. But concern is mounting that the proposed regulations aren’t enough to put an end to this needless danger.
Under current regulations, safety proposals do not prevent manufacturers from using cords that could potentially wrap around a child’s neck. For obvious reasons, this is extremely problematic since children can easily become entangled in loose-hanging cords. Inez Tenenbaum, Chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, is one of many individuals voicing concern for the inadequate regulations and prompting federal lawmakers to rethink current legislation surrounding mini-blind production.
As a part of her campaign to promote safety, Tenenbaum urged CPSC members to properly address the problem with thorough legislation that would protect children entirely, and not play into those who might wish to slow down the process.
Linda Kaiser, founder of Parents for Window Blind Safety, is another outspoken advocate that hopes to see more effective regulations put in place. Kaiser explained permanent solutions to this deadly hazard are needed immediately, rather than the ‘band-aid’ like solutions such as tie-downs and tension devices that merely cover up the problem.
As parents are already well-aware, children can get into almost anything with ease, especially if objects are loose, dangling, or toy-like – commonly dangerous features of mini-blinds today.
Take steps to prevent wrongful death
After reports surfaced that children were strangled by mini-blinds, I helped spur new laws that regulated mini-blind standards. But now, more is needed to prevent child injury. What can you do? Take action!
Up until recently, consumers could only use recall information to determine the safety of your mini-blinds. But now, the CPSC has enabled a database of reportedly dangerous mini-blinds well before they go to recall – and that action alone can save many lives.
Right now, you can research your mini-blinds and report injury to the CPSC online. Databases are updated instantaneously as reports are issued. This process alone will help remove months of needless waiting until a product recall is announced, thereby saving potential lives. We endorse the CPSC for funding and instituting the new safety database.
About the Law Offices of Michael Pines
Michael Pines, founder, is a personal injury attorney determined to improve safety standards not only in San Diego, but across the United States. The Law Offices of Michael Pines helps injured people seek recovery, with legal consultations free of charge. Call us today at 1-800-655-6585 or submit your case online if your child has been injured by product malfunction, recall, or design.