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Cops await autopsy results of Holtsville tot who choked

Suffolk police are awaiting autopsy results for the Holtsville toddler who died after choking on the chain of vertical window blinds in his family's Holtsville home Friday.

No criminal charges will be filed, Det. Sgt. Thomas Groneman said, calling 2-year-old Brendon McCarthy's death "a tragic incident."

The blinds in the home are several years old and the manufacturer unknown, Groneman said.

The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission said the dangling cords of window blinds and coverings have long been considered a danger. At least once a month a child in America dies from choking or strangling on dangling cords, and the agency has published guidelines for parents to make their homes safe, said spokeswoman Arlene Flecha.

"We've been warning consumers for a long time about this hazard, whenever you have a window blind or shade that has an exposed cord that presents a strangulation hazard for the child," Flecha said. "That's why we warn parents to inspect window cords in their homes. We also recommend the use of cordless window coverings in all homes where children live or visit."

Flecha said consumers can learn more about securing the cords out of children's reach and order free repair kits from the trade group Window Covering Safety Council at windowcoverings.org.

The McCarthy family has declined to comment.

The child's father attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation after finding the boy at about 2:45 p.m. Friday, police said.

The boy had been unattended for less than 10 minutes when the father found him tangled in the chain, which was attached to vertical blinds in the den, police said. He was pronounced dead Saturday at Stony Brook University Medical Center.

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