Protecting your children from the dangers of blinds and window coverings

CPSC said blinds are a hidden hazard

DETROIT - It's a top five hidden hazard in homes. Statistics show a child is strangled from window coverings or blinds every month. October is National Window Covering Safety Month. We're showing you steps you can take to make your home safe for children.

Advocacy group, Parents for Window Blind Safety , shared video of a mother filming her new baby. In an instant, the scene turns frantic when the mom noticed her three year old son standing silently in the corner by the window blinds. The cord hung around his lifeless body.

"Gavin, Gavin!" the mother screamed in the home video.

After 30 seconds and CPR, Gavin was revived.

Other children have not been as lucky.

"It was summertime. My wife took both children Paul and Isabella and put them down for a nap," dad Wes Nagaro said. "She went to Isabella's room to check on her. As she opened the door she found her strangled on the cord lifeless."

Nagaro and his brother shared their 2009 tragedy with our Scripps sister station, WXYZ , in Detroit. Their hope is to spare another family such a devastating loss. Dangerous blinds are still on the market, even though the manufacturer may consider them safe. The brothers efforts led to a recall by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Blinds Xpress this September.

"Ultimately when consumers purchase, the sellers are not disclosing the well know dangers," Ron Nagaro said.

Parents for Window Blind Safety recommends cordless or cord-free window coverings in homes with children 8 years old or younger. The organization said there are budget friendly options that start at $5.

If you don't want to buy new blinds, you can make them safer although it's not a fullproof way to prevent an accidental hanging. First, cut the looped cord and apply safety tassles. These tassles come in a window safety kit that you can order for free.

If you have window coverings, there are free safety kits offered to make them safer as well. The Window Covering Safety Council offers these kits for free. You can order online or call 1-800-506-4636. The kits come with complete instructions and diagrams to make the safety modifications to your blinds.  

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