-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Young children are at high
risk for accidentally strangling themselves with window blind cords
and parents need to be aware of this threat, doctors report.
Children aged 16 to 36 months seem particularly vulnerable to
this danger, because they have relatively large heads compared with
the rest of their bodies as well as softer windpipes, the doctors
noted. They also have less muscle control than adults, which makes
it harder for them to disentangle themselves from the cords.
The British doctors wrote their warning, published online April
29 in the
Archives of Disease in Childhood, after they treated a
22-month-old boy who was brought into the emergency department
after being found hanging on the pull chain of a window blind
The child was discharged after an overnight stay in hospital,
but not every child in this type of situation is so lucky, the
"In the U.K., it is thought that one or two young children die each year from blind cord strangulation," they wrote. "It is believed that there are probably many more under-reported near misses."
Data indicates that more than 200 infants and young children in
the United States have died from accidental strangulation in window
blind cords, Dr. Manas Datta, from the department of pediatrics at
Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex, said in a journal news
The British Blind and Shutter Association and the Royal Society
for the Prevention of Accidents recommend installing cordless
blinds, short pull cords, using safety devices and keeping
children's beds away from blind cords.
The best option would be a ban on looped window blind cords, the
doctors said. Until that happens, "it is imperative that parents
are educated about the hazards of window blind cords and
appropriate safety devices are installed in homes with young
children," they concluded.
The Window Covering Safety Council offers
window covering safety tips.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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