A Peoria family is mourning the loss of their 18-month-old baby who died on Saturday after becoming tangled up in cords attached to window blinds.
Police officers, firefighters, and AMT members all responded to a call in the early evening hours on Saturday. Once first responders arrived at the home, it was too late, WMBD reports.
The Infant Was Pulseless and Not Breathing When First Responders Quickly Realized That the Child Had Likely Been Tangled in Cords of Window Blinds.
On arrival, EMS checked the baby for a pulse and checked her breath. Unfortunately, the baby was considered in grave condition and was rushed to the OSF St. Francis Medical Center where she was pronounced dead after repeated resuscitation efforts.
An autopsy was performed on Monday and it was determined that the cause of death was strangulation. The infant had been tangled in window blind cords which wrapped around her neck and cut off her air supply.
The Peoria Police Department is investigating the infant’s death as a tragic accident and foul play is not suspected, WMBD reports.
According to a study published by the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, titled “Pediatric Injuries Related to Window Blinds, Shades, and Cords,” researchers looked at strangulation and injuries that occurred between 1990 and 2015. They found that 16,000 children in the US were treated in emergency departments for injuries caused by window blinds.
While the vast majority of children treated for their injuries survived, 271 children died due to strangulation involving window blind cords.
Nearly half of the injuries involved being hit by the blinds, usually resulting in only cuts or minor bruises, but more than 1 in 8 children (12% overall) became entangled in blinds’ cords.
Two-thirds of kids who became entangled in the cords died. This means that nearly one child every month for the past 26 years died of this type of strangulation. And those are just the injuries and deaths recorded in the two databases used for the study, NPR noted when they looked into the data.
WMBD spoke with the Coroner in the Peoria case, Jamie Harwood, who said, “This is a stark reminder to make sure the cords are securely tired to an anchor and well out of reach to any age child; death from this kind of strangulation can occur in as little as one minute.”
The US Consumer and Product Safety Commission (CSPC) has also monitored the dangers of corded window blinds for children. They recommend only cordless blinds in homes where young children are present.
According to the CSPC, corded window blinds are one of the top five hidden hazards for children in most homes. Thus, the Commission has recalled over 5 million window products to keep kids safe.
Despite the CSPC’s ongoing efforts to make window blinds safer, there are still dangerous. As the family of the 18-month-old baby who died in Peoria would likely tell you, do all you can to ensure that your child and window blind cords never come in contact with one another.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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