Gahanna girl dies after becoming entangled in window-blind cord

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Services will be held on Wednesday for a 3-year-old Gahanna girl who died after she accidentally became entangled in a window-blind cord last week.

Roselynn “Rosie” Mae Hanna died on Saturday at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, where she had been hospitalized for four days. Gahanna police and Mifflin Township Fire paramedics had gone to the girl’s home, in the 300 block of Broken Arrow Drive, shortly after noon on April 12.

Whitney Hanna, the girl’s mother, frantically called 911 to say her daughter was not breathing. Police found the girl by a couch and a nearby window that had a blind with a standard cord. The girl had a visible ligature mark around her neck, police said.

The mother told police that she had been tending to her 2-year-old son in another room for about five minutes when she came into the family room and found Roselynn tangled in the cord. She called 911 and administered CPR until police and fire arrived.

The death highlights a nationwide problem, said Linda Kaiser of Parents for Window Blind Safety. According to the group’s website, there have been nearly 600 strangulations of children who were tangled in window-blind cords over the past 30 years. She started the organization after losing her 1-year-old daughter that way almost 14 years ago.

“This is a product issue, it’s not a supervisory issue,” Kaiser said.

But she said that parents of small children should be aware of the potential dangers. And though there are advances in safety, such as breakaway devices, she said that children are still getting injured or dying because of the cords that remain on some blinds in homes.

“The problem is it’s a hazard in plain sight that parents don’t think about or they trust in the safety device to keep their kids safe,” Kaiser said.

The better option for blinds are cordless ones. Some companies, including IKEA, Target and SelectBlinds.com have voluntarily stopped selling blinds with cords, she said.

Services for Rosie will be at 10 a.m. today at Schoedinger Northeast Funeral Home. Her uncle has started a GoFundMe page to help the family with funeral and medical expenses. More than $21,000 had been raised by late Tuesday.

In addition to her mother and younger brother, Rosie is survived by her father and an older brother and sister.

jwoods@dispatch.com

@Woodsnight

Success for Sophia’s Cause campaign: Ikea to stop selling blinds with cords

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Swedish furniture giant Ikea has said it will no longer sell window blinds with cords.

Cords from blinds have been associated with the deaths of young children, including Gloucestershire’s Sophia Parslow, through strangulation.

Sophia’s mum Amanda O’Halloran, from Tirley, was left devastated when her 17-month-old daughter died by accidentally hanging herself on the blind cord in her living room in June 2013.

Since then Amanda has campaigned tirelessly for the design of blinds to be outlawed to prevent a similar fate befalling other children, launching Sophia’s Cause.

In a statement, Ikea, which has a store in Bristol, said: “Product safety is the highest priority for IKEA, which is why we have been working to develop alternative solutions to exposed cords in window coverings.

“IKEA is committed to working together with our customers to raise awareness of this important issue and to help families get the knowledge they need to ensure a safer everyday life at home.”

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents welcomed the move, saying it hopes other retailers will also stop selling products with cords because of the risk of strangulation.

It says at least 27 todders have died as a result of blind cords and chains between 1999 and 2014.

Sheila Merrill, RoSPA’s public health adviser, said: “This is fantastic news. Not only will it help to save many lives but it is an important step forward for the blind cord industry. It is encouraging to see such a well-known furniture retailer taking the necessary steps to help prevent further tragedies.

“Any move that reduces the risk to children is a move in the right direction. Too many lives have been needlessly affected by the dangers of looped blind cords, which is why we called upon the blind industry to take voluntary action to reduce the risk.

“We hope that other major retail stores will make the same promise as IKEA to stop selling window blinds with cords.”

Research indicates that most accidental deaths involving blind cords happen in the bedroom to children between 16 months and 36 months old, with the majority (more than half) happening at about 23 months.

To reduce the risk posed by looped blind cords, RoSPA’s advice is:

 

  • Install blinds that do not have a cord, particularly in a child’s bedroom
  • Do not place a child’s cot, bed, playpen or highchair near a window
  • Pull cords on curtains and blinds should be kept short and kept out of reach
  • Tie up the cords or use one of the many cleats, cord tidies, clips or ties that are available
  • Do not hang toys or objects that could be a hazard on the cot or bed
  • Don’t hang drawstring bags where a small child could get their head through the loop of the drawstring.

Read more: http://www.gloucestershireecho.co.uk/Success-Sophia-s-Cause-campaign-Ikea-stop-selling/story-27933606-detail/story.html#ixzz3nrlcLhPA