Toddler's death highlights danger of window blind cords


Central Ohio parents are speaking out about the concerns and dangers of window blinds after a toddler from Gahanna became entrapped in one and died.

The mother of 3-year-old Roselynn Hanna told police she stepped out of the room for just minutes when it happened.

Roselynn's mom called 911 last Tuesday to say her daughter was not breathing. She was found by a couch and window that had a blind with a standard cord. Roselynn died in the hospital.

According to a national group that tracks window cord deaths, it could take just 60 seconds for a child to lose their life once they become wrapped up in a cord.

Parents say the scare for them, is cords dangling from window blinds. Health experts say children can easily grab them.

Worthington mother of two, Beth LaFlumboise says she isn’t taking any chances.

"The 4 year old is more laid back but still curious, the 2 year old is into absolutely everything,” she said.

LaFlumboise says it isn’t worth the risk.

"It's awful, the thought of the kids getting hurt from the blinds,” she said.

There aren’t any chords hanging from windows in her house. LaFlumboise said she and her husband installed cordless blinds.

"You step away for two minutes and that's too long. You take something out of the oven you come back to the living room and it could be too late,” she said.

An organization dedicated to supporting and educating families about the dangers of window blinds, says it’s already petitioned the government to ban cords from blinds. Statistics from Parents for Window Blind Safety show 18 deaths and injuries reported in Ohio since 1992.

Health expert and researcher with Nationwide Children’s Hospital Tracy Mehan says these tragic accidents are preventable.

"Unfortunately this can happen in the blink of an eye. A child can get to a cord that you don't even realize is there because you don't see it and they wrap it around their necks in minutes,” Mehan said.

Experts suggest cutting long cords from window blinds and moving furniture away from windows.

"The best thing you can do if you have young children in your home is to not have window blinds that have cords. It's the cords that cause a lot of the problems,” Mehan said.

According to Parents for Window Blind Safety, Target, IKEA and sell cordless window blinds. A group spokeswoman said Walmart and Lowes have promised to sell cordless blinds by 2018.

Horizontal blinds injure or kill the most children every year and 5 year olds are most at risk of dying from cord strangulation.

According to Parents for Window Blind Safety, more than 570 people have been strangled by windows since 1986.