Mum of preschooler shares warning after son’s near-fatal blind cord accident

bind cord injury - Arika Hernandez

A distressed mum has taken to Facebook to warn parents of the dangers of blind cords, in the hopes that she can save others from the experience her family just endured.

Accidents happen

Accidents happen very easily and this woman is braving the mum-shamers of social media in an effort to save little lives.

US mum Arika Hernandez’s three-year-old son was playing on the top bunk bed in his room when he wrapped a blind cord around his neck thinking it would make a nice necklace. Pleased with the results he attempted to climb down from the bunk.

“He then began to walk down the ladder,” Arika explained. “As the cords tightened he panicked and tried to yell for mom and dad but nothing came out.”


  Read more about child safety:


“We heard a loud thud”

Arika says her poor little boy was struggling to pull the cord away from his neck – to no avail.

“He scratched at the cords to loosen them but all he could grab was skin. At the last attempt to get free he jumped to come get us and that very jump saved his life! The cord snapped and freed him!” a very relieved Arika writes.

“We heard a loud thud (his jump) and then his loud scream! This was not just any scream it is one I have never heard in my life and it will forever be ringing in my ears.”

WARNING SENSITIVE MATERIAL BELOW! I have gone back and forth about posting this or not posting this but I believe if…

Posted by Arika Hernandez on Friday, 11 January 2019

The accident resulted in some very nasty lacerations to the preschooler’s neck. He was rushed to hospital and thankfully these wounds were the only physical injuries sustained.

Arika explained that her son was incredibly lucky because these cords are generally very strong and designed not to snap or break easily.

“No corded blinds are safe”

She hopes parents will reassess the curtains and blinds in their home, and says that all cords pose a serious safety risk to children.

“NO CORDED BLINDS ARE SAFE!” she wrote on Facebook, asking followers to share her family’s story far and wide. “They now sell cordless blinds and they are worth every penny.”

She also warns that it’s not enough to cut the cord where they form a loop – “Even if you cut the cords once the blinds are lifted up it creates a hazard. The cords can not be cut short to make them safer … there are still inner cords and if the cord is pulled so the blinds go all the way up, that pull cord will then be long enough to make a loop and strangle a child.”

Thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths

KidSafe Victoria warns that blind and curtain cords can prove fatal for small children.

“Looped curtain and blind cords pose a significant strangulation hazard for children as they can place the loop over their head and/or get tangled in the loose cords,” KidSafe says. “At least 15 young children have died as a result in Australia since the early 1990s, including two in Victoria in 2009.”

Of course, this statistic doesn’t take in the sort of injuries Arika’s son sustained.

In the US the figures are horrendous.

“Nearly 17 000 young children were hurt by window blinds between 1990 and 2015, and though most injuries were minor, almost 300 died, ” AP reports.

 

Cot and blind cord

Cots and cords don’t mix,” say the ACCC

Blind cord safety 101

How can you ensure that the blinds and curtains in your home are safe? KidSafe advises the following:

  • Check all the rooms in your house for any blinds or curtains with long cords that are either loose or looped. This includes any cords that are within children’s reach at floor level or near furniture they can climb on.
  • Secure any loose or looped cords with cleats or tension devices – these can be purchased from your local curtain and blind retailer or hardware store.
  • Do not put furniture such as cots, beds, highchairs, playpens, couches, chairs, tables or bookshelves near a window where children can reach the blind or curtain cord.
  • When installing new blinds and curtains, make sure you or the installer secures any loose or looped cords immediately.

Blind Cord Safety Australia also has brilliant advice to help families address the safety of their home’s curtains and blinds.

The ACCC also warns that electrical cords positioned near cots and beds can also pose a strangulation risk for small children.

We’re so glad this little boy escaped with his life and very thankful that Arika is choosing to share her family’s story – and more details on the safety of blinds.

 

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