You know those cliche phrases you hear in news stories or on-camera interviews after tragedies. You know what I’m talking about.
“I never thought it could happen to us.” “I only turned my back for a minute” “How could I be so careless?”
We have all seen or heard someone say something like this at one time in our lives. Probably on the news or in an article or blog you read. Maybe you have even spoken something like that at one time or another. Well, I can admit that I now understand how those parents of victims feel.
Helpless. Foolish. Devastated. Ignorant.
Fortunately for me and my family, I can also add “thankful” to my list.
Thankful that I was merely steps away when near tragedy struck my family like a bad daytime movie
One afternoon, I was working on my laptop in the dining room adjacent to our children’s playroom. Thankfully I wasn’t too engrossed with my project because I could see my daughter playing nearby when I witnessed her jumping off the cube storage shelves that house the children’s toys in the playroom. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see she had fallen and appeared to be in pain or just at the beginning of a crying fit. When I looked closer, I could now see she had the cord from the window blinds wrapped firmly around her neck.
In an instant, I sprinted across the room to untangle her from the blinds. Without hesitation, I swooped up my now hysterical four year old and began to ask her if she was alright. My heart pounded and adrenaline coursed through my veins. My body trembled with unmanagable fear. I fought back tears, attempting to calm my daughter while simultaneously telling myself she was going to be alright.
After ten minutes of holding onto my daughter tighter than I’ve ever held her, I tilted back her head and inspected the mark that will forever haunt my dreams.
With all thanks to God above for protecting my little girl, I urge parents to inspect their own homes for possible threats. Even if you think your child cannot reach the cords, trust me, they can find a way. Our blinds NEVER get pulled up because I refuse to allow any potential for them to reach the cords. However, my daughter found a way to reach it and managed to get it wrapped around her neck. It was a total freak accident, and I guarantee she will NEVER EVER touch those blinds again, but it could be a hazard for other children entering our home if we don’t act responsibly and utilize the safety measures that our easily available. In an innocent moment of my daughter tossing the cord playfully in the air, it managed to get caught around her neck and she lost her balance on the foot tall cube storage furniture on which she was standing and fell with the cord wrapped around her neck. In response to this awful accident, I wrapped our cords around the top of the window far out of reach of the kiddos. The very next day I purchased safety hooks from Amazon to permanently remove the risks from the playroom window coverings, and we have altered the additional windows to prevent this from happening again.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, corded window coverings are among the top five hidden hazards in American homes. Please check your window coverings for exposed or dangling cords and retrofit or replace them with today’s safer products. Safety experts recommend using only cordless window coverings in homes with young children.
According to the Parents for Window Blind Safety, vertical and horizontal blinds are responsible for 75% of strangulation accidents. There have been 571 reported cases of strangulation in the U.S. since 1986. And 49% of window covering strangulations go unreported.
Have you checked your window coverings for child safety?
Ever think you are immune to becoming a statistic?