The Office for Product Safety and Standards and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accident (RoSPA) are urging parents and carers to
check that the cords on blinds found in the home do not pose a risk of strangulation.
Blinds might look harmless enough, but to a young child the looped cords can be deadly if they get them caught around their neck.
RoSPA is aware of at least 35 child deaths due to blind cords since 2001, including, sadly, some deaths in the last year. There will have been many more near misses.
RoSPA’s public health adviser Ashley Martin said “It is important to be aware that more accidents happen in the home than anywhere else. With all of us, including young children, spending more time than ever at home due to the current lockdown it is vital to ensure that household hazards are dealt with.
“Looped blind cords in bedrooms where children spend a lot of time unsupervised are a particular problem, but these tragic accidents can happen anywhere in the home. We call on all parents and grandparents, and anyone else who usually has children in their home regularly, to check all blinds wherever they are in the house and to make sure that looped cords are tied up out of reach. Even if children are not visiting you currently due to coronavirus restrictions, there has never been a better time to check the safety of your blinds. Since 2014, it has been a requirement for new blinds to be fitted with safety devices so that there are no hanging looped cords, so it’s even better if the blinds with looped cords can be replaced with new blinds that meet this standard, and we would strongly advise this in a child’s bedroom particularly.
“We are also calling on landlords of rented accommodation to check that blinds they have fitted in their properties are safe and do not have looped cords. We ask that they check and put right any hazards before new tenants move in.”
RoSPA’s top blind cord safety tips:
Install Ensure that blinds in a child’s bedroom do not have a looped cord particularly in a child's bedroom
- Cords on blinds (and also curtains) that are elsewhere in the home should be kept short and out of reach of children – tie up the cords or use one of the many cleats, cord tidies, clips or ties that are available
- Do not place a child's cot, bed, playpen or highchair near a window
- RoSPA does not recommend that cords are cut, even as a short-term solution, because they could still be very dangerous
- Do not hang toys or objects that could be a hazard on a cot or bed
- Do not hang drawstring bags where a small child could get their head through the loop of the drawstring.
For more information about blind cord safety head to the RoSPA website