Child death by window blind strangulation is more common than one would think

OREM, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - This year in the United States, seven children have died by being strangled by a window cord. On average one child between the ages of 7 months and 10 years old will die each month in the country.

The latest victim was a 4-year-old Orem girl.

The accident happened on April 30th.

“The mother found her,” said Lieutenant Craig Martinez with the Orem Police Department. “Somehow, we don't know if she was playing in the blinds or was jumping back and forth but somehow she just got caught up in them, in the cord.”

The blinds were modernized and had two cords that dangled.

“She did what 4-year-olds do which was jump on their bed. And her bed was close to this window,” said the Lieutenant.

A neighbor tried to give her CPR outside the home while the mother talked to police. The child was taken to an area hospital, but it was just too late.

“They were able to have the funeral services the last few days, but I can't say how they are doing,” said Lt. Martinez.

North of Salt Lake in 2006, another mother’s child Abbigale Wentz suffered the same fate, she spoke to the Orem family about the tragedy.

“Seeing that family grieving the exact same way, not everyone does grieve is the same but to watch to watch them go through that brought everything back to the surface again,” said Leslie Wentz.

Wentz now works with Parents for Window Blinds Safety.

“I didn't know they were a dangerous product,” said Wentz. “It helps me to be able to help someone else through my daughter’s death. It's hard to talk about her still but it gets easier.”

Bringing more attention back on blind cords so that other families don’t suffer the same fate as these two did.

Debbie Hill with House of Blinds in Salt Lake City says, “If you have existing blinds and are concerned about that they have ways to retrofit them so they are safer in your home.”

The company says they have modernized blinds just to keep children safe.

“They have stops so that the cords can’t be pulled through the ladders and wrapped around the children’s necks. They have cordless shades that just push up and down without lift cords. They have motorized shades that work by remote control. They also carry kits too for existing blinds that [are] offered through consumer safety,” says Hill.

Other things you can do to childproof your blinds are to shorten the cords that dangle or secure them to the wall and to move all furniture away form any windows.

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