Now that her curious 10-month-old is on the go, Avery Zacharias is busy making their home as safe as possible.
Zacharias says, "We put outlet covers on all the outlets. We have locks on the cabinets. We did put a gate up in our living room."
But because Avery installed cordless window blinds, that's one less thing she worries about.
Unfortunately, window blind cords are still a hazard for too many children. In fact, a new study by the center for injury research and policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital found that about two children are treated in U.S. emergency rooms every day due to window blind injuries.
And over the 26-year study period, there were 271 window blind associated deaths, most from strangulation after becoming entangled in window blind cords.
That equals one child death every month.
Dr. Gary Smith says, "We've known about this problem since the 1940's. We have a voluntary safety standard in this country and it's been updated repeatedly and yet we continue to see these deaths."
Dr. Smith says the deaths are preventable, and he's calling on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to mandate that manufacturers only sell cordless window coverings.
Dr. Smith says, "What we need now is for manufacturers to simply eliminate accessible cords in their products so that children can't gain access to them. That's the solution."
If possible, Dr. Smith encourages parents of young children to remove blinds with pull cords, continuous loop chains or accessible internal cords from their home, but if you can't replace all of them right away, start with the rooms where your child spends the most time.
Dr. Smith says, "I often hear that if parent would simply watch their children more carefully these injuries wouldn't occur. I call this the myth of supervision. Supervision's important, but the best parent in the world can't watch their child every second of every day."