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Another Death Leads To Renewed Push For Cordless Blinds

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Ritchie Rochelle 175x131 L Rochelle Ritchie
Rochelle Ritchie joined WJZ Eyewitness News in June 2012. Prio...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Another child has died in Maryland after being hanged by the cords of window treatments. Now there is a strong push for the Consumer Product Safety Commission to require manufacturers to have cordless blinds.

Rochelle Ritchie has more on the deaths and efforts underway to protect children.

It is such a tragedy too often experienced by young children and their parents. It’s an unfortunate danger present in many homes that often goes unnoticed.

In homes across Maryland and the country hangs a silent killer that often goes ignored–until it’s too late.

In the last 22 days, four children have been killed–two of them in Maryland–by the cords of window blinds. One was a 2-year-old boy on March 1. Another one of them was a 6-year-old girl in Suitland. Her family members found her hanging by cords in Feb. 8. They tried to resuscitate her, but she was already dead.

Between 1996 and 2012, window cords killed or seriously injured 293 children. Now one woman is hoping the Consumer Product Safety Commission will force manufacturers to provide safer blinds to save the lives of children like her 1-year-old daughter Cheyenne, who was found hanging in her bedroom.

“She stuck her fingers in between the flaps of the blind and pulled on the cord, which formed a noose. She put that noose around her head and eventually sat down and didn’t know how to save herself and strangled that way,” Linda Kaiser said.

Current manufacturer mandates are in place, but Kaiser says that’s not protecting children and that going cordless is the only way to save lives.

“Instead of a wand and a cord, there are two cords so that’s an issue we are dealing with and we’re trying to address that with our petition at the Consumer Product Safety Commission,” Kaiser said.

Kaiser says a standard blind without the cords can cost around $20.

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