Safety advocate encourages parents to avoid dangerous window cords
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The family of a Lubbock toddler is still mourning her death from accidental strangulation.
Officers were called to a home near 42nd Street and Quaker on Saturday around 5 p.m.
The family says Avery Acuna-Gomez, 3, was asphyxiated with a window covering cord.
But this type of death is more common than you might think.
According to parentsforwindowblindsafety.org, deaths like this happen every single month in the United States.
The website reports 551 kids have died by window cord strangulation in the United States since 1986.
Kids like Emily, Mario, Gavin, Andrew and Avery are gone because of a common household object.
"My heart goes out to them. I know the devastation and the pain that they feel," said Linda Kaiser.
Kaiser is the founder of the non-profit organization. She lost her daughter Cheyenne 11 years ago in a similar incident.
"I went to check on them before I went to bed and I found her hanging from a cord of the window blind and my life forever changed," Kaiser said.
Kaiser says her and her non-profit organization have come a long way in making a difference, but her job isn't done yet.
Cords that looped were outlawed because children would get their heads caught in them and choke to death. Now, double hanging strands are more common. But Kaiser says that doesn't fix the problem. These cords could still strangle a child. So she's asking parents to go cordless.
"Our message is to live safe and go cordless," she said.
Kaiser's efforts have extended across the country as well as globally in hopes these deaths will stop.
"We have a petition with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission asking for a mandatory standard that would require manufacturers to have cordless window coverings."
"We have been seeing a lot of changes in Canada," she said.
It's changes like that, that Kaiser hopes will put an end to these preventable deaths.
Most importantly, Kaiser wants parents who are suffering from a loss like this to know she wants to help.
Parents with questions can call her at (314) 494-7890.
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