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The Dangers of Blind Cords for Children

Being a parent requires you to constantly be on the lookout for items that could harm your child. Such items are often inconspicuous and otherwise harmless looking. Home health care is therefore always a challenge. One potential danger is the blind cord on your blinds. The cord can potentially wrap around the neck of a child and cause asphyxiation. This is also a problem in assisted living facilities specializing in dementia care. One way of preventing a blind cord accident in an assisted living center or at your own home is to tie or cut the cord short enough that it can't wrap around a neck or appendage. However, this often impedes the function of the blinds. Another option is switch your blinds to child-safe models that don't use cords that are capable of wrapping.

The Chicago Tribune reports that one child dies every month in the United States from a blind cord accident. Cord wrapping happens for a variety of reasons. If a child is playing with the cord, it is very easy for the cord to get tangled around part of the child's body. This could seriously injure a finger or ankle. If a child is running around the room, he could accidentally brush up against the cord, causing the loop of the cord to go around the neck. The child's own momentum combined with the cord's strength can result in severe windpipe and trachea damage, and could even cause death.

The cords are a danger in senior care as well. A senior who falls may get ensnared in a cord and get injured. Home care agencies and senior services therefore need to be diligent about only using blinds that don't carry that risk. Children are also at risk in this scenario because a child visiting a grandparent in elder care can also get stuck in a cord when left unsupervised.

There are multiple types of blinds that don't require cords. Some are similar to curtains in that they are composed of a single cloth shade that gets hooked up to frame that it slides in. The blinds are pulled open and closed along the track with a small control stick that hangs next to the shade. Other models use slatted blinds that also get opened and closed via a dowel stick.