A new study published in Pediatrics medical journal has found that fatalities and injuries caused by window blinds have not tapered off, despite warnings. Over the past few decades, many authorities have voiced safety concerns about window blinds causing strangulation injuries to children. The industry standard has placed warning stickers on blinds. Yet, despite these warnings, the rate of injury has not declined. Now, many are recommending a complete and total ban on the sale and use of blinds with cords.
In making these findings, researchers analyzed over a quarter century of data compiled by the federal government on emergency room treatment and fatal injuries. The study’s author notes that these dangers have been widely known since at least 1945, when two accidental hangings were reported.
A Household Problem
Since 1990, around 17,000 children have been injured by window blinds. Most of these injuries, fortunately, were minor, however at least 300 of these cases were reported fatalities, typically due to strangulation. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, windows and window blinds are one of the top five hidden dangers in American homes.
Because of the high rate of injuries and safety watchdog warnings, manufacturers of window blinds voluntarily adopted safety standards, including the use of warning labels. However, the blind industry now plans to make cordless blinds the only options in all retail stores across the United States, as well as in all online marketplaces. Victims’ advocates urge that this new study should be a wake-up call to everyone that corded blinds can be extremely hazardous to young children.
According to the lead author of this study, the data does not show that the number of injuries or fatalities has either risen or declined. However, the fact that they continue to occur indicates that the voluntarily adopted standards have been woefully inadequate.
The new plan to sell cordless blinds has been put into place with input from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. However, this does not prevent customers from generating custom orders for corded blinds. The newly proposed standard is still awaiting approval from the American National Standards Institute. However, according to many, it is widely expected to go into effect by late 2018.
The lead author of the study, Dr. Gary Smith, Director of Injury Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, has said that custom orders of corded blinds should be prohibited. Smith has stated that around 20 percent of all corded blind purchases are custom orders, and this is too much to remain on the market.
New Jersey Product Liability Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP Advocate for Victims of Dangerous ProductsIf you or someone you love has been injured by corded window blinds or another dangerous product, call us today to learn how we can help. The New Jersey product liability lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP can be reached at 732-777-0100 or by filling out an online contact form. With offices located in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout the state.