Playing toddler ‘went limp’ after being strangled by window blind cord in front of horrified mum

Karen Shelley, 42, thought her son had died when she saw him hang “in slow motion” as his eyes bulged and he lost colour in his face

A mother told how she watched her son “in slow motion” as he became entangled in a window blind cord and hung himself as he “went limp” before her eyes.

Karen Shelley, 42, was watching her son Riley, 2, play with his younger brother Louis, 1, when he became trapped with the cord around his neck.

She was at home in Sheerness, Kent, when Riley stood up on a windowsill and fell through the plastic cord.

His 16-year-old sister Sammy rushed to his aid and pulled him up to save him from hanging.

He was rushed to hospital where doctors ran tests to check his oxygen levels.

The little lad is now recovering at home, and the bruising on his neck has disappeared.

But his mum wants to remind other parents of the dangers of leaving a blind cord free – and said how “lucky” she is that her son is still alive.

Karen told how she ran in slow motion towards her son, as her legs “turned to jelly” and she collapsed on the sofa in front of him.

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The window blind cord as Karen would usually wrap it around the pole (Photo: Facebook)

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Riley hung for seconds from the window blind cord (Photo: Facebook)

She said: “It just happened so quickly. I honestly thought he was dead. My legs just collapsed under me as I crawled up the settee.

“He had hold of the cord on both sides of the loop and as he jumped down it went round his neck and pulled him back up a little – then he was just hanging there, limp.

“Sammy grabbed him, she got there before me and pulled him up.

“I just kept screaming ‘no, no, no, no’ – I thought he had died.

“His eyes started bulging out from his head and he turned this funny colour.

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Karen has cut the cord off and is warning other parents of the dangers (Photo: SWNS)

“It’s amazing how quickly the colour went, it only took two or three seconds and he was completely pale.

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She was told that if the cord was lower, it could have been a fatal accident (Photo: Facebook)

Karen, who is also mum to 22-year-old Luke, told how she usually wraps the cord of her second-hand blind around the top of the pole.

The teacher’s assistant was aware of the risk of accidents around her children and said that morning, she had forgotten to wrap it around.

Karen said: “It’s so dangerous. It goes to show it only takes one day for something like this to happen.

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Karen Shelley with son Riley Stuart (Photo: SWNS)

“I’ve been so lucky and I know I was lucky. I just feel so sorry for the parents that have lost their children in this way.

“I did cut the cord in half but I can’t bear looking at it anymore so I cut it all off.”

Karen wants to raise awareness of the dangers of using blinds with a cord pull.

She said she wanted to share Riley’s story so that other parents will think before leaving their cord dangling free.

Karen said: “It just show how easily it can happen. I was 12 feet away from Riley but if my child was out of the room, it could have ended differently.

“If the cord was a few inches longer, it could have ended differently. We might not have been so lucky.”

This comes as another toddler was caught on camera silently strangling on a window blind cord as his mother filmed the rest of the family playing together in the living room.

Gavin Walla, from Wisconsin, US, can be seen in the horrifying home video hanging limply from the looped window blind cord, which is wrapped around his neck.

Gavin’s mother was filming a home video of her children playing together in their front room when she suddenly notices the toddler has stopped breathing.

Immediately, she drops the camera, screaming her son’s name as she desperately tries to untangle the cord.

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Horror: Gavin stands limply in the corner (Photo: ABC)

Thankfully, her quick actions saved Gavin’s life and he’s heard in the video coughing and spluttering as he gasps for breath.

Gavin, who is now 17, wants people to see his home video in the hope of raising awareness about the very real dangers of window blind cords.

He told ABC News: “I’m glad that it’s out there. It saved the lives of other children that have been fortunate enough to have parents who have seen the video.”

It is thought more than 100 children have died in window blind cord accidents since Gavin’s.

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Now: Gavin wants his home video to serve as a warning to other parents (Photo: ABC)

Elliot Kaye, chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission told ABC: “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.”

The government first identify the window blinds as a hidden danger over 30 years ago.

But the cords remain a potentially deadly hazard to this day with many manufacturers still using them on many of their products.

IKEA and Target have already removed corded window blinds from their shelves due to safety concerns.

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Family: The Walla family want to share their story (Photo: ABC)

Walmart and several other stores have announced they will stop selling the products by 2018.

Ralph Vasami, the head of the Window Covering Association, an industry trade group, admitted that the hazard is still present but has been reduced by new safety features including breakaway cords and string that can be tied at a height children can’t reach.

They however do not recommend that corded window blinds should be used in homes with children.

 

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/playing-toddler-strangled-window-blind-9363464

 

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