Blind danger: I-Team, ABC News investigate deadly cords on blinds

An ABC7 I-Team Investigation
CHICAGO (WLS) -- The ABC7 I-Team showed you how local store clerks may not always be giving you the right warnings when it comes to blinds with cords versus cordless. ABC7's Jason Knowles recently talked to Brian Ross of ABC News about the joint investigation and what's to come.

"Well, Jason with your work and the work of ABC stations, we went and found there's a confusing array of information about what is and what isn't safe when it comes to window blinds. The plain fact is that window blinds with cords in any home with children is a real danger," Ross said.

In our hidden camera investigation, some northwest Indiana store clerks told us to raise the cords or hang the cords, even after our producer said she was shopping for a child.

Peggy Miller of Kenosha lost her son in 2012 when he was strangled by the cords on blinds.

"He won't answer me, I got him down, I called 911," Miller said.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says there's an average of one death a month, but the industry representing the blinds manufacturers disputes the number.

ABC7's Jason Knowles: "But they're fighting back on this."

"They say the figure is inaccurate because it represents an average over the years, and that the rate has gone down," Ross said. "The fact is hundreds of children have died, while the industry has successfully resisted efforts to eliminate all cords."

Knowles: "Looks like Target and Ikea are going cordless right now and other stores to follow in 2018."

Ross: "The Consumer Product Safety Commission now has a new push on, to eliminate all window blinds with cords."

But industry spokespeople say more than half of blinds are still corded because they are cheaper and there is still a demand. They say wiping those off the market would cost jobs and devastate the industry.

The industry adds they have made several safety improvements to corded blinds over the years.

You can watch the Brian Ross investigation "Deadly Delay: Children At Risk" on World News Tonight Friday at 5:30 p.m. and on Nightline at 11:35 p.m.

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