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October 8, 1997

Pediatric Window-Cord Strangulations

Author Affiliations

The Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health Baltimore, Md

JAMA. 1997;278(14):1152. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550140044036

To the Editor.  —The article by Ms Rauchschwalbe and Dr Mann1 summarizing the US experience with pediatric window-cord strangulations is extremely valuable in documenting an opportunity in which preventive behavior can be 100% effective in saving lives. The data presented suggest that the life-saving message that needs to reach parents is not "break the loop in window cords," but "eliminate window cords from the environment of children." The voluntary efforts of industry to produce window cords without loops and to retrofit the existing stock of window coverings have not lowered mortality and never can be completely effective—the authors document a number of deaths in which the child was not entrapped in a loop at all. Until the industry fully deploys window coverings with breakaway cords or that keep cords completely away from children, I suggest that physicians and child health advocates press for regulatory reforms at the

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