There’s probably no greater fear than the fear of losing a child. And there’s probably no greater feeling of panic experienced than when one is watching their child lose their life.
On one ordinary morning, one such mother, Nicky Walla, had her hands full. Walla, a resident of Chippewa, Wisconsin, and mother to nine children, was at home with her husband Nate, taking care of the children. It was surely a normal day for Walla, filled with changing diapers, feeding the kids, and making sure nap times were put to good use.
Nicky, so full of love and pride for her babies, took a moment to get out the video camera and record the blissful moment. As she was taping her kids, and making those childhood memories that would last forever, it happened. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a terrifying sight! Her son Gavin was dying right in front of her eyes.
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Gavin had been playing with the blinds as so many children do, and got caught in the blind’s pull strings. Mom was horrified, and you can hear it in her voice. She started screaming his name–but Gavin wasn’t speaking, he wasn’t breathing, and he was barely clinging to life. Walla dropped the camera and ran to his side. Lifting him up and out of the blind chords, Walla cried for her husband to come quick.
Nate, sensing the panic in Nicky’s voice, rushed to Gavin’s side. Nate says he squeezed his son, and then the most precious sound the Wallas had ever heard came from Gavin–his crying. The boy regained consciousness and quickly made a full recovery. Nate summed up the terrifying experience with these humble words: “We were the lucky ones….If you can call it that.”
The Consumer Protection Safety Commission of the U.S. Government is aware of the risk of death associated with window blinds.
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CPSC offers the following safety tips to prevent deaths and injuries associated with window covering cords:
Examine all shades and blinds in the home. CPSC recommends the use of cordless window coverings in all homes where children live or visit. Make sure there are no accessible cords on the front, side, or back of the product.
Do not place cribs, beds, and furniture close to the windows because children can climb on them and gain access to the cords.
Make loose cords inaccessible.
If the window shade has looped bead chains or nylon cords, install tension devices to keep the cord taut.
Are your blinds safe for your children and your grandchildren? Share some tips on how you’ve addressed this issue in your home.
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