Story Category: The Bay Net Exclusives »
Family Hopes Tragic Story Will Help Save Lives
Piney Point, MD - 7/17/2012
By Dick Myers
Three-year-old Brianna Jones was very independent, according to her mother. She liked playing on her own. So when she told her mother she wanted to watch television, her mother set up a new Barbie movie that had been purchased the day before and left her alone to watch while she went down to the kitchen.
When her mother hadn’t heard from Brianna in about 15 minutes she called out to her and when she didn’t respond she went upstairs to find her daughter hanging from a window blind. Christianna “Christi” Frink Jones knew what to do. She had been a medic in the Air Force for six years. But she was too late. The CPR was unsuccessful.
Christi and her husband Christopher are both now MP’s in the Army stationed at Ft. Campbell, KY. The horrible accident occurred last Tuesday at their home in Clarksville, TN, just outside the base. Christi is a 2001 graduate of Great Mills H.S. but also attended her first two years at Leonardtown, H.S. Her father and step-mother, Tim and Molly Frink, live in Hollywood, and her mother and step father, Rita and Nathan Laulis, live in Piney Point. Both families helped take care of Brianna and her little sister Alexis while their parents were stationed in Iraq last year.
Family members are devastated but they agreed to talk to the Bay Net in hopes that their story might help save lives in the future. According to the National Consumer Product Safety Commission about a life a month is lost from strangulation from window blinds.
Christi Jones says her daughter when she was outside “loved adrenaline and loved getting dirty.” But when she came inside she loved having her mother paint her fingertips and put on makeup. Mrs. Jones believes her daughter climbed up on a couch and wrapped the cord around her neck as if it was necklace and slipped off the couch while playing.
By all accounts Brianna was a daddy’s girl. Mr. Jones said every time he came home she said, “Daddy’s home” and wanted them to play together. Mrs. Jones noted that family was the center of their life. When they came home their children were at that center and they did what the children wanted them to do. “We always though we took such great care of our kids,” she said.
It’s impossible for parents to watch their kids 24/7. “I don’t know if it was preventable,” Mrs. Jones said. But she believes blinds can be made to prevent hangings by designing them so they break away with a certain amount of pressure.
And Grandfather Tim Frink is on a mission to get the word out to the blind manufacturers and the Consumer Product Safety Commission that design changes can be made. During the interview at the Frink home in Hollywood, he showed a reporter changes he made to his own home’s blinds to raise the pulley heights so they were unreachable by a toddler.
Frink is general manager of Our Father House Assembly of God Church in California. He and his daughter were both asked if they were angry at God for what happened. Christi said, “I don’t see it that way,” pointing out that a family in her church lost a son fighting in Iraq. “It wasn't God that did it.”
Mr. Frink said, “Bad things happen to good people all over the world.” He added, “If one life can be saved some good has come of it.”
Because Brianna loved to play so much, the family believes a fitting tribute to her would be the naming after her of a renovated playground at Our Father’s House that had been planned anyway. The family would like any donations for the playground to be sent to Our Father’s House AG, P.O. Box 828, California, MD 20619.
The Jones family has invited the public to a Celebration of Life memorial service for Brianna on Saturday, July 21 at 5 p.m. at the beach on Lighthouse Road in Piney Point. Parking is limited along that road so parking will be located nearby at Paul Hall School and a shuttle will be provided. Signs will be located to guide people to the parking area.
In the family’s invitation they say: “We want this to be as happy an event as possible. Brianna was the happiest little girl, if she was old enough to know I guarantee her happy heart wouldn't want to see us have a sad dreary event. We are requesting everyone to wear casual bright colored beach attire. Brianna loved dresses- she would wear one every day if I let her! Women, please wear a happy bright colored beachy dress (if you are comfortable with that). After we share our stories we will be enjoying food, music and dancing.” The event will be catered. Instead of bringing food, please consider a donation to contribute for the food.
According to Nychelle (Nikki) Fleming, public affairs specialist, Team Lead, Safe Sleep Outreach and Education, Office of Communications at U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, consumers can sign up to get direct e-mail notification of recalls at www.cpsc.gov, including several window blind and roman shade recalls. They suggest all consumers with young children in the home or young grandchildren or caregivers to check the placement of their furniture and check all window coverings for looped cords that could pose a strangulation risk. You will see the contact information below for the Window Covering Safety Council to provide consumers with a free fix.
Kids and Cords Don’t Mix Safety alert
CPSC and industry safety tips and redesign of blinds/roman shades release:
Previous recall example:
Be The First To Comment On This Story!
Send This Story to a Friend!