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2-year-old Lake Geneva boy dies after getting tangled in blind cords, police say

A 2-year-old boy died shortly before Christmas after he was found strangled in blind cords inside his family’s home, authorities reported.

Lake Geneva police and emergency responders were called to the home on Dodge Street shortly after 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 21, according to police reports that the Lake Geneva Regional News obtained through an open records request.

On Dec. 22, the Walworth County medical examiner notified police that the child had died.

The officer who first responded to the scene started CPR immediately and subsequently the child was taken by ambulance to Mercy Walworth and then taken by helicopter to Children’s Hospital in Wauwatosa.

According to the police report, the mother had been home at the time and only stepped out of the room for a few minutes while the children were watching a movie. When she walked back in, she found her son, grabbed him, started CPR and called police.

When police investigated, they found what appeared to be a small foot print on a side table to the right of the couch in front of the widow, possibly showing he had climbed up on the table before getting caught in the blinds.

No GoFundMe or memorial fund has been established at this time for the family, who is still grieving the loss.

More than 600 young children were treated in U.S. emergency departments (EDs) each year for injuries related to window blinds, according to a 2017 study from the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Using data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, the authors estimated about 16,827 children under age 6 years were treated in an emergency department for a window blind injury from 1990-2015. Roughly 61.6% were boys, and the average age was 2.6 years.

While 93.4% were treated and released, there were 271 deaths, nearly all of which were associated with entanglement.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has identified window coverings with cords as one of the top five hidden hazards in the home.

CPSC offers the following safety tips to prevent deaths and injuries associated with window covering cords:

Examine all shades and blinds in the home. CPSC recommends the use of cordless window coverings in all homes where children live or visit. Make sure there are no accessible cords on the front, side, or back of the product.

Do not place cribs, beds, and furniture close to the windows because children can climb on them and gain access to the cords.

Make loose cords inaccessible.

If the window shade has looped bead chains or nylon cords, install tension devices to keep the cord taut.

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