Philadelphia personal injury attorneys report on the tragic death of a young Utah girl after she was strangled by a window treatment cord last week. The girl’s death has brought to light a consistent and deadly threat to toddlers and young children everywhere – one that many parents aren’t aware of until it’s too late.
Leslie Wentz is one of those parents. She is a mother from Plain City, Utah who lost her daughter Abigail in 2006. The 18-month-old was strangled to death at daycare after she became tangled in cords on window blinds.
“(The day care worker) called and was frantic, couldn’t get anything out,” Wentz said. “She finally said, ‘Your daughter was tangled in a cord.’ Never in a million years did I think window blinds and cords were going to be a deadly issue.”
The death of her daughter drove Leslie to look for answers. Her search led her to an international nonprofit organization Parents for Window Blind Safety (PFWBS). PFWBS is a national non-profit founded in 2002 by Matt and Linda Kaiser to support parents of children injured or killed by dangerous window cords. The organization also aims to educate parents of the unknown dangers associated with some window treatments, to create safer standards in the industry, to encourage innovation and the development of safer products in the industry, and to test window covering products for safety. PFWBS has become the nation’s foremost advocacy group for the elimination of all window blind cord strangulation dangers.
Today, Leslie Wentz serves on the board of the PFWBS, carrying out her efforts to inform families of how deadly these common household items can be. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, between 1999 and 2011, 140 children died and 136 were almost strangled to death on corded window coverings. According to these numbers, an average one child a month dies from window treatment cords.
Parents for Window Blind Safety took their safety campaign to social media and can be found on Facebook. Interested parents should visit the page to learn more about how to keep their homes and children safe.
“To me, my child was priceless,” Wentz said, “and I can’t get her back, but hopefully I can educate others and keep them from going through the things we’ve lost in our lives.”
As spring turns to summer, temperatures will rise and windows will open, leaving blinds up and cords down. The PFWBS recommends cordless window coverings in homes with toddlers and young children. If new window treatments are not an option, move cribs, beds, furniture, and toys away from windows and window cords that children could potentially become entangled in. Window shades with looped bead chains or nylon cords require the installation of tension devices to keep the cords taut.
According to the CPSC, blinds sold prior to 2000 have inner cords that a child can pull, forming a loop in which a child’s neck can become tangled. If your home is equipped with these devices, call the Window Covering Safety Council for a free repair kit at 800-506-4636 or visit windowcoverings.org
The Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Messa & Associates are experienced at handling personal injury cases involving defective products that have caused injuries to children. Our extremely skilled team of personal injury attorneys and medical experts is dedicated to ensuring you receive proper compensation for your personal injuries. If your child has suffered an injury as a result of dangerous or defective window treatments, another defective product, or any other type of personal injury, contact the personal injury attorneys of Messa & Associates for a free consultation. Call toll free at 1-877-MessaLaw, or submit a free online inquiry.
Joseph L. Messa, Jr. is the founding partner of Messa & Associates, P.C. He is an AV-rated attorney (highest rating available), listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. Read More