Baby Dies On Day Blinds Are Recalled

Window blind recall
A 13-month-old boy was found dead in his crib, apparently strangled by the cord to a set of window blinds, on the same day the government announced a recall of blinds because of their danger to children.

The boy, whose name was not released, was found in his crib with a cord from a nearby window blind wrapped around his neck at about 11:40 a.m. Wednesday, police said.

He had apparently awoke during the night, and "it appears the child became entangled in a looped cord from a pleated blind located near the crib," police Lt. Dennis De Pew said.

It was not the kind involved in Wednesday's recall, De Pew said.

A police officer tried unsuccessfully to revive the child before taking him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. After an autopsy, medical examiner Dr. Dante Ragaza ruled the death accidental.

When police arrived, the father was in the street yelling "My baby! My baby!" De Pew said. The mother was at work at the time.

Earlier Wednesday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall of 500 million horizontal window blinds believed to be responsible for the strangulations of 130 children since 1991.

Children can turn the pull cords — as well as the inner cords that adjust the slats — into nooses around their necks, the commission and an industry group, Window Covering Safety Council, said Wednesday. About 55 million horizontal blinds are sold each year.

Peter Rush, head of the Window Covering Safety Council, said consumers can visit the council's Web site to learn how to check blinds for safety.

The safety commission advises owners of blinds to call the council toll-free at 1-800-506-4636 to request a free repair kit for each set of blinds. The kits include small plastic attachments to prevent the inner cords from being pulled loose and safety tassels for pre-1995 blinds with looped pull cords.