#GoCordless Campaign Seeks to Improve Window-Blind Safety after Child Deaths
Details of the #GoCorless Campaign
Accordign to The Arizona Republic, founder and safety advocate for Parents for Window-Blind Safety Linda Kaiser along with her husband, Matt, lost their one-year-old daughter, Cheyenne Rose, when she became entangled in a window cord and strangled to death in 2002. The goal of the group is to discourage families with small children from using window cords in their homes, and to teach safety for families that still have them. They hoped to prevent any more children from suffering the same senseless death that their daughter suffered.
The new #GoCordless movement is born this year out of yet another tragedy under similar circumstances. One morning in 2009, John Mar and his wife, Pratima Sampat-Mar of Queen Creek walked into their daughter Nyah's room to find her unresponsive. There was a window-blind cord wrapped around her neck. Both parents performed CPR on the 2-year-old, but she was pronounced dead soon after in the hospital.
The couple was shocked. They installed multiple safety-devices in their home, and were careful to keep all window-blind cords out of reach. When they had their window coverings installed, the company's employee reassured them that the blinds they had chosen were childproof. Even so, none of these measures worked to save their young daughter.
“The hidden cords, the short cords, it doesn't matter,” Pratima said. “Manufacturers will tell you to tie them up and put them up high, but as far as we are concerned, there is no safe cord.”
The two sets of parents have joined forces to form the #GoCordless movement, which challenges manufacturers and consumers to go cordless in an effort to avoid window-covering accidents altogether.
Phoenix-based company Steele Blinds is the first company to accept the challenge, becoming the first custom window-blind company to go 100% cordless. They have been up and running for a little over a month, and have yet to receive a negative comment or complaint.
“I think there has been an awareness from what happened with our daughter,” John said. “The thing is, it's a tragedy and if it can be avoided, every step should be taken so that it is avoided.”
Cord Injury Statistics and Common Causes
According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission:
- On average, more than 20 children every year in the U.S. are injured or killed by cords from window coverings.
- The most at-risk are children between 7 months and 7 years of age.
- Horizontal-type blinds account for about 60% of all strangulation accidents.
- The continuous loop found on most vertical-type blinds and draperies are responsible for the other 40% of strangulation accidents.
According to the Parents for Window-Blind Safety Commission, the most common causes of window-blind entanglement are:
- Loops created by a tangled cord
- At least one long cord wrapping around the child's neck
- The loop above the single tassel of the cord
- The loop above the stop ball of the cord
- The loop created when the pull-cord was tied to another object.