A Wisconsin family released a horrifying video to warn other families of the "silent killer" in their homes: window blinds with exposed cords (video below). Although some vendors no longer sell them, many still do and federal officials believe it is time for them to be banned.
In a 2002 video, mother Nicci Walla records her children playing. She then notices her 4-year-old son, Gavin, has a window blind cord wrapped around his neck. She drops the camera, screams for her husband, and runs to save her choking son. While she was on the phone with 911, Gavin started crying and breathing again.
"I actually didn't have any memory of what happened from that point on," Nicci told Fox 28 News.
Gavin, now 17, has also seen the disturbing video.
"I look at it and to be honest with you, it's always unsettling to me, seeing me in the background there," Gavin said.
“I’m glad that it’s out there,” he told ABC News. “It saved the lives of other children that have been fortunate enough to have parents who have seen the video.”
Unfortunately, the 2-year-old son of Erica and Stephen Thomas did not survive a similar situation in 2014, reports ABC 6 News.
"I called 911," the mother told the news station. "I started CPR. And I knew. I just knew. I was just screaming."
The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that one child dies each month from window blinds with cords, and many more have been injured.
"They like pulling on them," CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye said. "And they pull on them and they wrap them around their necks, and that's what happens. And it's devastating."
Kaye added that the CPSC and window blind industry have spent 30 years failing to ban the sale of corded window blinds, despite the safety concerns. He said cordless window blinds and blinds with inaccessible cords would solve the issue, but his safety agency does not have the legal authority to ban corded window blinds.
Despite resistance from the window blind industry, IKEA and Target have taken these products off their shelves, and Home Depot, Walmart and Lowe's plan to stop selling corded window blinds by the end of 2018.