Drawstrings and Cords Lead to High Risk of North Carolina Strangulation Incidents Involving Small Children

A tragedy in South Carolina resulted in a parent losing a child in a strangulation accident in which the 6-month old boy strangled on an electrical cord of a baby monitor camera produced by a child product manufacturing company. According to Safe Kids USA, this incident, along with another child’s death, prompted the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to recall over 1.7 million video baby monitors with electrical cords made by Summer Infant Inc.

Defective products causing injuries to children is something all parents should be concerned about. Our Asheville personal injury lawyers know that defective child products are a common cause of injury and death to children injured in North or South Carolina.
The CPSC often recalls products for strangulation hazards, especially for infants or small children who may not know that pulling a cord can cause them to choke. Last month, the CPSC announced a voluntary recall of approximately 48,000 Wm. Wright Co. Roman Shade Kits and another 45,000 Roman shades manufactured by The Shade Store in New York.

In both cases, the manufacturers were asked to recall their products because a child’s neck could become entangled with the exposed inner cord or the fabric on the backside of the blind when the cord is pulled and wraps around the neck, which leads to strangulation.

The CPSC offers illustrations for The Shade Store cord hazards. To view pictures, click here for strangulation hazards.

This month, the CPSC has issued a new safety rule for drawstring safety for children’s outerwear. A unanimous 5-0 vote warrants a final rule that upper outwear that has drawstrings in the hood or neck in sizes 2T through 12 is hazardous and may lead to incidents of strangulation. This also applies to upper outwear with certain waist or bottom drawstrings in sizes 2T through 16.

There have been 26 child fatalities caused by a drawstring in the child’s garment being entangled in school bus doors, playground slides and other objects. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has the authority to stop a shipment from entering the U.S. which contains hazardous drawstring products in children’s outerwear. The CPSC has issued 115 recalls related to drawstring products from 2006-2010.

Safe Kids USA reports the following facts about choking and suffocation for children:

-On average, almost 900 children ages 14 and under die each year from injuries related to airway obstruction, another 18,000 suffer from injuries.
-In 2005, over 19,000 children went to the hospital emergency room for a choke-related incident.
-In 2004, almost 90 percent of the unintentional strangulation deaths were children ages 3 and under.
-Cribs and playpens cause half of all nursery product-related deaths in children ages 5 and under each year.-Clothing drawstrings, blind and drapery cords, pacifier strings, ribbons and necklaces are the most common items that strangle young children.
-Each year, $1.5 billion is spent on airway obstruction injuries for children ages 14 and under.

Parents who have had a bad experience with a child product are encouraged to report the incident by calling the CPSC Recall Hotline at 1-800-638-2772 or report the unsafe product online at the saferproducts.gov website.

Contact the personal injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices, P.A. if your child has been seriously or fatally injured by a defective product in North Carolina. To discuss your rights at a free no-obligation appointment call 1-800-887-1965.

Additional Resources:

Pool Drain Cover Recall Leaves Greensboro Swimmers at High Risk of Entrapment or Drowning in Pool Accidents, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, June 5, 2011

Fourth Defective Product Recall This Year Announced by Graco: North Carolina Parents Beware of Child Injury Risk, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, October 30, 2010

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