A disturbing report was recently released by the Center for Injury Research and Policy, located at Columbus, Ohio, in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital. This report, the result of an analyzation of several different national databases which store information from all hospitals around the country, discovered that every month a child in the United States dies as a result of an incident involving window blinds. Furthermore, two children are injured every single day under the same circumstances.
Dr. Gary Smith, one of the primary conductors of the study and the Center for Injury Research and Policy director, says that emergency room records obtained for dates between 1990 and 2015 show that almost 17,000 children under the age of six were taken to emergency rooms in order to treat injuries that occurred when the children were injured by blinds.
The report goes on to say that while most accidents involving children and blinds are not serious (such as a blind falling on a child’s head), 11.9% of situations in which a child is injured by a blind involves the child becoming entangled with the blind’s cord. This 11.9% accounts for almost 80% of all the hospitalizations and for 94% of all the fatalities (271, to be exact) that happened during the above mentioned time period.
Another disturbing statistic is that, even though 90% of the incidents examined happened while the children in question were under the supervision of their parents, almost none of the the situations were witnessed first hand by the parents. Instead, they took place in a shockingly short period of time, while a child was left alone for only a few minutes. Dr. Smith says that this underscores just how dangerous blinds can be, easily creating a possibly fatal situation in the briefest period of time.
The solution, claims Dr. Smith and his co-authors, is a re-imagining how blinds should function followed by a redesign. At the present time, the standard of blind safety is a voluntary one, meaning that each blind manufacturer can decide for themselves what constitutes proper safety measures without being held to anyone standard. If the report from Dr. Smith and his colleagues is successful, however, a new mandatory standard would require that all blinds possess cords that are completely inaccessible to children.
Dr. Smith believes that by tightening the regulation around blind production, the number of injuries and fatalities to children resulting from an encounter with blinds will drop.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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