Ladywood Make It Safe Project
Please note that this project ended in March 2016
What is the Ladywood Make It Safe Project?
The one-year project is designed to provide practical home safety support and advice to families with children under 5 in the Ladywood area of Birmingham. The aim is to make existing blinds in homes safer and to raise awareness of potential risks in the home.
Families of the 4000 children under five in the catchment area of Ladywood's four Children's Centres will have access to free information, advice and resources relating to blind cord and home safety.
Up to 100 families in the area can access free blind safety equipment as well and receive free advice and resources. To request a home safety visit, see panel.
Our partners in the project are Sure Start Ladywood Children's Centres and Reynolds Blinds. The project has been funded by Awards for All and the William A Cadbury Charitable Trust.
Children's Centre staff are receiving free home safety training from RoSPA so they can support and advise local families.
They visit young families and parents-to-be at home as part of their job. Through these visits and a home safety audit they will identify potential risks and advise families how to deal with them.
They will also identify families who have looped cord blinds in their homes which don't have safety devices fitted. They will either offer advice and resources to make them safer, or, if they feel a family needs help with this, refer them for a 'Make It Safe' visit.
This service will be provided by fitters from Reynolds Blinds, which is part of industry body the British Blind and Shutter Association. They will shorten blind cords where they are too long and fit appropriate safety devices where needed.
Why are we doing this?
Accidents are the main cause of death for children after infancy. Under-fives are most likely to have an accident at home.
Children can die, be severely disabled or left in a coma after blind cord entanglement.
Detailed accident statistics are no longer collected by the government, but our research shows that there have been at least 30 deaths in the UK due to looped blind cords since 1999; 17 of them since the start of 2010. Most happen in the bedroom and involve children aged 16-36 months. We are also aware of 16 near-misses.
Recent European legislation requires new blinds to be made safe by design, or be supplied with safety devices installed. However, it's thought that there are around 200 million blinds with looped cords already in British homes: it is not known how many have not got safety devices fitted.
If you are a practitioner involved in the Ladywood Make It Safe project, you can download home visit and referral forms here.