Tragic Death Of A Toddler Highlights The Danger Of Blind Cords Once Again

by Maria Guido
Originally Published: 
Image via KSL5

Three-year-old dies after becoming entangled in blind cord

Tragedy struck this week for the family of former NFL running back for the Philadelphia Eagles, Reno Mahe. His beautiful three-year-old daughter Elsie was found entangled in a mini-blind cord last week. She died yesterday.

According to Today, on November 22, Elsie was found with the cord of a mini-blind wrapped around her neck: “They took her to Primary’s Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City for treatment. Two neurological exams confirmed that she suffered from brain death and six days later, the family announced her death and their intention to donate her organs.”

Elsie was the second youngest of seven children, and the family is coping with their tragedy by relying on their Mormon faith. “One of the really assuring things about their faith, Mormons believe that families are eternal,” a family spokesperson said.

It’s an unspeakable tragedy, but one that is not as uncommon as you’d think. Over 20 children a year in the U.S., on average, are strangled by a window covering cord. Fifteen seconds is all it takes for a child to lose consciousness. One minute can end a life.

Here’s the issue with blind cords: when they are tied up, there is still a possibility that they can come loose, so the strangulation danger is still there. If they are cut super short, if the blinds are ever pulled up, the cords are still long enough to pose a hazard. The only real way to make corded blinds safe, is to cut off the blind cord at the headrail, rendering it useless for actually lifting the blinds. You would then just use the wand to open and close the slats to control light and privacy.

Blind cords are so dangerous, in fact, that some companies have stopped selling blinds with cords all together. In January, IKEA stopped selling blinds with cords . And one of the largest online retailers of custom window coverings,, went completely cordless this year, too.

If you can’t afford to replace your blinds, there are other options:

  1. You can order cord cleats online for free, to help keep cords out of reach of small children.
  2. You can replace window coverings in select rooms of your home, instead of attempting to outfit the whole house.
  3. You can purchase very inexpensive blinds made out of paper, that actually look really good, for places like your kid’s room or nursery. The order comes with six per box so you can easily replace if they get too dusty or dirty.
  4. You can keep furniture like cribs away from windows and completely out-of-reach of blinds.

Elsie’s parents decision to donate her organs is one that will bring life and hope to others. Her mother wrote on a beautiful picture of her child on Instagram, “Reno and I wept with gratitude to our Heavenly Father that Elsie would be granted a peaceful passing and would be able to save lives through her physical body still.” What an amazing family to think of others at such a truly heartbreaking time. “With her death and the donation of her organs, the doctors have told them there is a possibility that she can save seven or eight lives,” said a spokesperson for the family. “The fact that they might be able to help other parents and other children avoid a similar fate, I think that is comforting.”

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