I hate to admit it, but I tend to roll my eyes at small statistics. For instance, the journal Pediatrics reported that the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital discovered that 17,000 children between 1990-2015 spent time in an emergency department for injuries from window blinds, ranging from entanglement to strangulation. During that time, about one child every month died from cord strangulation.
But one moment can change your perspective on small numbers and make you realize the monumental impact they can have.
I praise God my son was not included in that number, but if the circumstances were different, my beautiful son could have easily been included in that statistic.
Our Sunday morning out-of-town started off by visiting our hotel’s breakfast bar with our little family at one table and my parents at the table next to us. My precious 4-year-old was ready to move after being cooped up in the hotel room all morning. His vibrant energy was quickly becoming rambunctious while we sat in our secluded corner of the eating area. While he was floating between tables, he tip-toed on a raised floor vent along a wall with windows where the blinds were half-open, blocking the rising sun.
My son held onto the metal looped window blind cords to help him balance on the floor vent.
The ornery little boy had put the cord in his mouth; everyone was quick to say, “No, don’t put that in your mouth, gross!” And within a second, he managed to take it out of his mouth and get the looped window blind cord under his chin. In the process, he lost his balance on the raised floor vent.
My son had literally hung himself on a window blind cord within one second.
My husband and I were quick to grab him as I mustered out an “Oh my God!” lifting my son up and pulling the cord off his neck.
While I comforted my crying son, I held on to him for dear life, holding back my tears of fear so as not to upset him further. I witnessed my goofy son switch to complete shock and fear in one heartbeat as his eyes instantly widened and mouth gaped open the moment the cord went tight around his neck while he hung.
We were both shaken from the fast ordeal. The soul-crushing fear of what ifs consumed me for days afterward.
Thankfully, we were right there and my child was not injured or worse. Many others have not been as fortunate.
If you think you would hear your precious child yell for mommy or daddy in the case of strangulation, you won’t.
I urge you to look at the blinds in your home.
If your blinds operate with cords, temporarily put the cords up or tuck them away until you’re able to make a more permanent fix. Your best option is to replace the blinds completely with cordless blinds. If that is not an option, purchase safety devices for the cords. If you’re out of your home like we were, be cautious if your child is around any window blinds and be with them to stop a potential disaster. Share your warning with other parents.
Window blind cords can so easily become an accidental noose or could tangle up a curious baby or child. I know, it sounds so obvious, but take it from a mom whose child’s innocent playing at a restaurant could have turned deadly: a life-changing accident can happen quicker than you think with a common household item.