The post below contains something extremely scary that our family has experienced first-hand. It may trigger some intense feelings. I understand if you cannot read it, but I need to share our story of something that could have left us living in a nightmare…just in case it helps another parent or caregiver. Blind Cord Safety¸ like other posts on this blog, may contain affiliate links to products but the suggestions and opinions in this post are my own.
Last Sunday, our life as a family of six flashed before my eyes. We could have been entering the holidays in a very different place than we are right now.
Greg was with The Bigs, spending time with them before taking Uber drives. I had just laid the girls down for a nap in their room (free of everything except toddler beds and a stuffed Elmo chair) and was washing my hands before going downstairs to make some truffles.
And then? One of those God Moments happened.
While I was in the bathroom, I heard Ava making horrible noises. Thinking she was being funny, trying to keep Isla awake, I yelled for her to hush and let her sister go to sleep. When the noises didn’t stop, I decided to sneak in the room and put them back on their beds and start again. For that momtuition, I am going to forever be grateful.
What I walked into will not leave my mind. Ava was stuck in the cord from the window blinds, swinging and choking. Her eyes darted at mine and I went into full on emergency mode. I ripped the cord from around her neck and made sure she was breathing. Screaming for Greg, I inspected her neck and held her close. He got to the room and asked what was going on – then started to rip the blinds from the window. I held her for what seemed like hours, the two of us shaking and sobbing.
It could have been a nightmare.
Thank God it wasn’t.
I share this story because I need to know that those I touch know the dangers of blind cords. To know that I feel so thankful for God being with us that day (and every day), keeping me alert to the signs. To give myself grace and forgiveness for not getting in there sooner and for not checking that the cords maintained rolled up as we had set them on moving to the toddler beds. To ask for love.
This week has been tough, but it could have been tougher. For that, I am so grateful.
Admittedly, this is one of those back of the mind babyproofing tasks that more should be aware of. I sort of obsessed researching over options for fixing the rest of the windows in our house and to see just how blessed we were. A short summary and some links follow.
Blind Cord Safety
Just this week, a former NFL player (Reno Mehe) lost his three-year-old daughter in a story very similar to ours’. I could barely stand to hear it, let alone read the metrics in that article. But I had to. I have to join the fight to make things better for our kids.
Many children who are lost this way are lost silently, quickly. Our Ava was desperate to let me know something was wrong. Thank you, God.
Window Covering Safety Month was in October, but did I hear anything about it then? Nope, because these kind of things don’t really happen to anyone I know, right? Wrong, so wrong. It is happening often enough, to the point one child dies a month from this horrible, hidden danger (according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission).
Have corded blinds? It is not expensive to retrofit existing corded blinds to be safer (like the wraps shown below or by ordering a kit specifically for this).
Another, the safest option, is to go cordless and replace window coverings with cordless options (something we’ll be working on as this is a danger for kids up to age nine).
From now on, I’ll be following @Parents_4safety on Twitter and sharing Ava’s story to help save other children. I’ll be praying lots and giving thanks for what happened to us. I’ll be vigilantly mothering my kids (not that I wasn’t before, but just being even more aware of the dangers) and loving on them lots, holding them tight.
So please, do me a favor right now. Go hug your babies tightly. Come up with a plan to make your homes safer, too. Pick up some blind cord safety products (with two-day shipping or faster!) and install them immediately. And, if you would, pray for me to find peace with this. XOXO