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October 8, 1997

Pediatric Window-Cord Strangulations-Reply

Author Affiliations

US Consumer Product Safety Commission Washington, DC
Oregon Health Sciences University Portland

JAMA. 1997;278(14):1152. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550140044037

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In Reply.  —Since documented accident investigations indicate that children become entangled in window cords as well as suspended from looped cords, we agree with Dr Bishai that the ideal environment to reduce pediatric window-cord strangulations is one in which window cords are eliminated. However, even a cordless environment will not eliminate all asphyxia deaths since slat strings also pose a risk (7% of documented strangulations).Voluntary industry conformance to the recently published standard for corded window-covering products goes a long way in correcting many mechanisms of injury in new products. However, the rate of mortality does not appear to be decreasing, partly because public awareness results in increased reporting and because older products remain in many homes. Cutting the loop and adding individual tassels to each cord is an instantly effective, cost-efficient, and easily implemented method of reducing the risk of asphyxia death associated with these window blinds. We also advocate the