Ten Years ago Parents for Window Blind Safety was established in November 2002 by my husband and I, after losing our precious daughter, Cheyenne Rose to child strangulation.
You might wonder, why did we do this? What is our purpose? This was a preventable death. If my husband and I would have been educated about the inner cord dangers of window covering products it would have never happened. I would never have had to read on my daughter’s death certificate that she would never be married. If I would have known how dangerous cords on window covering products could be and how many children had died or were going to die I never would have had them in my home. In 2002 inner cord dangers was almost unheard of because the recall about the hazard was not publicized very well.
Click to read the history of window covering recalls.
No one I knew understood exactly how my daughter accessed the cords. I had to have a dear friend of mine explain to ME how she got a hold of a cord when I had tied up the draw cords out of her reach.
I will never forget how unfair I felt it was that I had no idea about this hidden danger. If you don’t know something is dangerous, how do you protect your children? Even today, when I talk to well-educated people they tell me they had no idea that the cord which runs up and down horizontal blinds could be pulled out by a 12 month old child and kill her. We knew early on we had to centralize all the window covering safety information we were receiving and make it available to the public so that the message would be clear on safety.
Sadly PFWBS support groups grew large very quickly. The year my daughter died we had tracked 21 strangulations in the USA in 2002 alone. As the investigation reports came in we learned different scenarios of how children accessed the cords, what type of safety tips parents followed, what type of products the child strangled on and whether or not the product was compliant with the current safety standard.
Click below to read how detailed IDI reports are.
It became clear the safety messages for window coverings varied from manufacture to manufacture, from the government and from child advocacy groups. None of these groups had the same message and they still don’t! Some were telling consumers to tie cords together, use cleats, use safety kits, go cordless etc. As the years went by, we realized that the industry and the government were not disclosing to the public that the “safety kits” they recommended were also failing. Tie down devices, tassels, inner cord stoppers, wind up products etc. have all been involved in accidental strangulation and consumers have no idea.
In 10 years PFWBS has tracked two hundred and four strangulation accidents in the United States.
Few children have lived through the accident, and a handful are so severely injured they will never walk, talk or play again. This is such a preventable accident. How do we get such preventable accidents to stop? When looking at all of the data it’s obvious that the safety message must be the same from the industry, from the government, and from the advocacy groups. Until the message is universal, the public will continue to be confused on what products are safe and the death rate will remain the same. It is our goal to press the US CPSC and the window covering industry to stop promoting safety kits and products that can strangle children. The message to the public should be the factual. Any window-covering product with a cord CAN kill or injure a child.
The universal message should be, Cords Kill Kids…. Always Use Cordless Products! Help us by passing on the message. Like our Facebook page, follow us on twitter, YouTube, and our blog. Help us prevent child strangulation.