Fire officials warn of dangers of window blinds for kids

WASHINGTON — After the death of a six-year-old girl, fire officials are warning about the dangers of cords attached to window blinds.

Officials say the child was found unconscious in a Suitland home on Saturday after getting caught up in cords attached to window coverings.

A family member tried reviving the child as did emergency workers.

“Despite the very best efforts of the paramedics, the fire fighters, the emergency room staff, and family members, the girl did die of her injuries,” says Mark Brady, spokesman for Prince George’s County Fire and EMS Department.

The child’s name was not immediately released.

Fire officials say the cords in the home were an older venetian style.

Officials say children, and especially those ages 5 and under, are vulnerable to strangulation by window covering strings and cords.

Around the country, one child a month is killed from being strangled by window cords, according to Brady.

Many older models of window coverings were made with a loop at the end of the cord, which can be altered to make them safer for children.

“Simply cut that loop, tie a knot on the end of each of those strings, removing the possibility of someone becoming entangled by that loop,” he says.

The popular website Safe Kids Worldwide sells modification kits to perform the fix. Many newer models of window blinds are ready made with a knot at the end.

Brady also recommends that parents move furniture away from windows.

“This will prevent not only a child falling out of a window, but also this will remove the possibility of a child becoming entangled and possible strangulation from those cords,” he says.

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WTOP’s Thomas Warren and The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter and on Facebook.

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