You might not give a second thought to the blinds and other coverings on your home’s windows, but they can be dangerous to your children. Many window blinds have cords that children can easily become tangled in. Sadly, far too many children end up injured or killed by these dangerous household products. According to USA Today, approximately one child every month dies from strangulation by a window blind cord.
At Carr & Carr, we fight against window blind manufacturers whose products injure or kill children. If your family has experienced this devastating situation, contact our team. We are here to listen to your story and help you understand your legal options to pursue compensation.
Your initial consultation is free. You can reach an Oklahoma window blind attorney at 888-238-4282 or contact us online.
How Common Are Injuries and Deaths from Window Blind Cords?
A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) using data from 1990 to 2015 indicates that there were approximately 16,827 injuries related to window blinds among children under six years of age. This is an injury rate of 2.7 per 100,000 children. Nearly 12 percent of those injuries were from entanglement, and 98.9 percent of those entanglement injuries involved window blind cords. The vast majority of entanglements (98.7 percent) involved the child’s neck, and a significant number (67.1 percent) of entanglement incidents resulted in death.
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) lists window coverings with cords as one of the top five hidden household hazards. According to the report, these cords can present a danger to children up to 8 years old. The CPSC has recalled over five million window coverings, including blinds and Roman shades.
Are All Window Blinds Dangerous for Children?
The AAP report indicates that window blind cords are most dangerous to toddlers, but they present a risk to all children under six years old. It’s extremely easy for naturally curious toddlers and children to unintentionally tangle themselves in the cords. Additionally, strangulation injuries and deaths are silent and very quick; most incidents occurred when a child was left alone for less than 10 minutes.
According to the AAP, most incidents involved horizontal blinds. In these incidents, the operating cords were involved in about 71 percent of cases, and 17 percent were related to inner cords.
However, other types of window coverings and cords have also caused injuries and deaths. In cases involving vertical blinds, most of the incidents involved the continuous loop cord. The inner cords on the back of Roman shades were responsible for 85.2 percent of incidents involving that type of window covering.
How Does Liability Work in Window Blind Injury or Death Cases?
The dangers of window blind cords have been known for decades, but most safety standards for these products are voluntary. As such, there are many manufacturers that have chosen not to make design changes (e.g., cordless blinds) to comply with these non-mandatory standards.
Many window blinds and shades are still being made and sold with cords that present a strangulation risk to children. When incidents involving these dangerous products occur, it is possible to file a personal injury lawsuit to hold the manufacturer liable.
A liability case may be based on the fact that manufacturers have known about the dangers of their products for decades and have chosen not to implement design changes to improve safety and reduce risk.
What Type of Compensation Can You Sue For?
In a personal injury case, the plaintiff may seek compensation for specific expenses as well as emotional damages. For example, if a child was injured from an entanglement, the lawsuit may seek compensation for the medical bills related to diagnosis and treatment. In the event of a fatal incident, there may be compensation to cover funeral arrangements.
Additional compensation may be related to the child’s and/or parents’ pain and suffering and the child’s lost future wages (if there is a permanent disability). A judge may also assign punitive damages to encourage the manufacturer to make safer products.
Work With an Experienced Window Blind Lawyer
Although window blind manufacturers have known for years that their products are dangerous for children, many of them haven’t adopted new safety measures to prevent strangulation accidents from happening. It’s all too easy for a child to be injured or killed by a window blind cord.
At Carr & Carr, we are dedicated to holding window blind manufacturers responsible for the dangerous products they sell. We also help victims’ families pursue compensation for medical bills and emotional pain and suffering.