Gahanna girl dies after becoming entangled in window-blind cord

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Services will be held on Wednesday for a 3-year-old Gahanna girl who died after she accidentally became entangled in a window-blind cord last week.

Roselynn “Rosie” Mae Hanna died on Saturday at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, where she had been hospitalized for four days. Gahanna police and Mifflin Township Fire paramedics had gone to the girl’s home, in the 300 block of Broken Arrow Drive, shortly after noon on April 12.

Whitney Hanna, the girl’s mother, frantically called 911 to say her daughter was not breathing. Police found the girl by a couch and a nearby window that had a blind with a standard cord. The girl had a visible ligature mark around her neck, police said.

The mother told police that she had been tending to her 2-year-old son in another room for about five minutes when she came into the family room and found Roselynn tangled in the cord. She called 911 and administered CPR until police and fire arrived.

The death highlights a nationwide problem, said Linda Kaiser of Parents for Window Blind Safety. According to the group’s website, there have been nearly 600 strangulations of children who were tangled in window-blind cords over the past 30 years. She started the organization after losing her 1-year-old daughter that way almost 14 years ago.

“This is a product issue, it’s not a supervisory issue,” Kaiser said.

But she said that parents of small children should be aware of the potential dangers. And though there are advances in safety, such as breakaway devices, she said that children are still getting injured or dying because of the cords that remain on some blinds in homes.

“The problem is it’s a hazard in plain sight that parents don’t think about or they trust in the safety device to keep their kids safe,” Kaiser said.

The better option for blinds are cordless ones. Some companies, including IKEA, Target and SelectBlinds.com have voluntarily stopped selling blinds with cords, she said.

Services for Rosie will be at 10 a.m. today at Schoedinger Northeast Funeral Home. Her uncle has started a GoFundMe page to help the family with funeral and medical expenses. More than $21,000 had been raised by late Tuesday.

In addition to her mother and younger brother, Rosie is survived by her father and an older brother and sister.

jwoods@dispatch.com

@Woodsnight

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