If You Have Young Children, Get Rid of the Curtain Cords Now.

A team of researchers from the Center for Trauma Research and Policy at the National Children’s Hospital has released a new pediatric report that tally the number of deaths and injuries from curtain cords over a 26-year period. The results are alarming: In those years, 271 children, or about one child a month, died from strangulation with window cords. That number likely underestimates the real danger, says Dr. Gary Smith, an emergency room physician and one of the study co-authors, because the National Electronic Trauma Surveillance System database does not record injuries and deaths of children in hospital. the emergency department or have not received any medical attention at all.

Children become entangled in the cords of the window shades when they are left alone in the room – for example, to take a nap, or play, or watch TV. Because strangulation occurs silently and can occur within minutes, parents don’t notice until it’s too late.

Replace wherever possible

This means that you should get rid of all wired window shades: “If the window shades have either control cords or accessible internal cords, it is too dangerous to keep them in a home with small children,” Dr. Smith wrote in an email. … “The best way to keep your kids safe is to replace all cordless blinds with cordless blinds, cordless blinds, or other types of cordless window coverings such as interior window shutters, draperies, and curtains.” If you cannot replace all the blinds at once, at least replace the ones in the child’s bedroom and anywhere he or she regularly plays, such as the living room or playroom, “and replace the rest as best you can.” … If you don’t want to buy curtains or shutters, here are cordless curtains at every price point, from Ikea to JC Penney and Shade Store .

Other decisions, such as buying a retrofit kit from the manufacturer, are a worthy stopgap, but Dr. Smith cautions that “removing the blinds completely is the best way to protect your child. Some of the fixes can create a false sense of security if they are not used correctly 100% of the time by everyone who lives or visits your home. ” Parents should also move cribs and cribs away from windows, and any furniture (such as sofas) that children can climb on to get to the cords.

Do it wherever your child spends time.

You should replace your blinds not only at home, but wherever your child sleeps or plays, such as at grandparents’ or babysitting homes. You should also check your kindergarten – is it safe to sit in the shade of a window? You should think about this until your child is about six years old, but especially during preschool / preschool age: “The danger of blindfolds peaks between ages 1 and 4, when toddlers become more mobile and begin to show curiosity about their surroundings. They can reach the blind ropes, but they are unaware of the danger of strangulation and cannot free themselves if entangled, ”says Dr. Smith.

NPR reports that we are rapidly moving towards a wireless society: The Window Covering Association is reviewing its safety standards in response to information provided by the Consumer Product Safety Commission; Soon all “standard” window shades in stores will be wireless or have cords that little fingers can’t reach.

If that sounds like an alarmist, it’s not — many parents are simply unaware of the dangers, “especially the inner cords of the blinds, which are harder to see,” says Dr. Smith. “Some parents may simply think that the risk is low and that their child will not be at risk,” or that they are vigilant enough to prevent any potential tragedy.

But Dr. Smith disagrees: “There is a misconception that if we just watch our children closely, they will be safe. But even the best parent in the world cannot watch their child every second of every day. “


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