Oldham mum, Karoline Craig, lost her daughter Macy in a blind cord accident. This is her story.
The morning of the accident, my daughter Macy had been to nursery. After lunch, I took her upstairs to play and have a nap, while I got on with some cleaning. This was our normal routine and I didn’t give it a second thought. Macy often enjoyed looking out of her bedroom window and previously had messed with the panels of the blind, so I removed them just leaving the runner and the cord. When I went upstairs to check on my little girl, something unspeakable had happened. That afternoon, at around 3pm, Macy was pronounced dead after arriving at Royal Oldham Hospital.
As it was an old-style terrace house, the window sills were lower than at newer properties. The fact Macy was tall for her age and that she was stood on a mattress on the floor, put there in case she fell out of bed, meant the looped cord was within her reach. I had no idea about the dangers to children posed by blind cords, nor did any of my friends and family. I’ve since learned from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) that their stats showed there have been 30 deaths related to blind cords in the UK since 1999 with many of the accidents involving old 'looped' cords relating to children. This figure represents 30 deaths too many. 30 young lives full of potential snatched away. 30 life-altering tragedies that could have been easily avoided.
The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death due to strangulation from a blind cord.
Regulations brought in 2014 stated all blinds sold and installed must have the cords attached to the wall; have a chain break feature; or a wand-style device to open and close them if a child is likely to have access. Our landlord said the blinds had been fitted by a local firm when he bought the property in December 2010 and hadn't re-fitted them as he wasn't aware he needed to. He said the property was checked before we moved in and that the blinds were in good working order as far as he was aware, and there had been no previous concerns raised by tenants.
Macy was a happy little girl who melted hearts. She had such an infectious smile and a giggle that would have you laughing with her regardless of the mood you were in. Macy will be forever be deeply missed and will always be our precious little angel.
At the inquest, the coroner compiled a report and sent it to the housing minister and RoSPA. The report highlighted the need for a regulatory body for landlords, to keep them up to date with the latest health and safety advice and legal obligations.
I’m now dedicated to helping RoSPA raise awareness about blind cord safety for parents and landlords. I hope I can save other families from the loss and heartache that we have had to suffer.
For more advice see our blind cord safety page.
Posted: 10/8/2019 2:21:46 PM