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Two Wisconsin parents shared a horrifying home video that shows their toddler son hanging silently from a window blind cord. The video shows the boy being strangled as he hangs motionless from the cord. Fortunately, the parents they were able to save their son. However, the parents noted that it could have been worse, as they were videoing the other children in the room before realizing the dire situation at hand. The child made no noise as he silently strangled while the parents stood just feet away. The family is hoping that the startling video will raise awareness about the “silent killer” in homes so that other parents can avoid a nightmare such as theirs.
Nicky and Nate Walla of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, released the video to the public in the hopes that it could help save another child’s life. The family claims that they are “lucky” as they were able to remove their son from the cord and revive him. However, the family knows the situation could have ended much differently. Now their son, Gavin, is 17-years-old and completely healthy, according to the family. Therefore, they wanted to share the horrifying video with others to help bring awareness to a “silent killer” that parents may not even know exist in their homes.
According to ABC News, the number of deaths of children by strangulation from window blind cords has been on a steady decline since 2009 due to new safety measures put into place. New blinds now have cords no longer than 7.25 inches, which is too short to strangle a child. However, Parents For Window Blind Safety say that the industry hasn’t done enough and that they need to do away with window blind cords altogether.
The organization notes that the highest number of fatalities are recorded among 5-year-olds who have the ability to climb and reach the short cords. In fact, Elliot Kaye, the chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, notes that children are still dying from window blind cords and that it could be stopped altogether if the window blind industry would take note.
“I see decades, and I’m talking decades, about children once a month getting hanged to death by these products and it’s got to stop. I think it’s disgusting. They’re just rolling the dice and taking what they can make in terms of profit.”
As ABC 7 reports, California lawmakers are attempting to ban window blind cords in a bid to decrease the accidental strangulation deaths of children. Jacob Hawk was 16-months-old when he died after a window blind cord wrapped around his neck. Jacob was a triplet and was placed in his bed for a nap. His mother, Michelle Hawk, says that shortly after laying the toddlers down for their nap, one of the other triplets, Jacob’s sister Erika, let out a horrifying scream.
“It was a frantic scream and I ran up the stairs really fast,” she said. “I opened the door and I saw Jacob with the inner cord of the blind wrapped around his neck.”
Hawk says that more must be done to protect children from the dangers of window blind cords. She notes that she knew the dangers and did what consumer safety groups recommended, which is to tie the long cord out of reach. However, there were no recommendations on how to prevent death by the inner cord that lies within the blinds themselves. Therefore, safety advocates say the cords should be removed entirely from the blinds, which is possible but more costly for the manufacturer.
The Hawk family isn’t alone in their pain. In the past 30 years, 405 children have been strangled by window blind cords. Many of the stories of the lives taken too soon can be viewed on Parents for Window Blind Safety.
Did you know about the hidden dangers of window blind cords?
[Image via Video Screengrab]