Blinds are a common feature in many households, however their cords/chains can pose a risk to young lives.
Children can easily get blind cords caught around their neck and become unable to free themselves. It is believed that it can take as little as 18 seconds for loss of life to occur as a result of strangulation via a blind/cord or chain. Between 1999 and 2013 there were 28 deaths, however the number of near misses is unknown (UK Public Health Bling Cord/Chain Safety Working Group, 2014).
Although new European Standards were introduced in 2014, blinds fitted prior to this time may not conform. All blinds on sale must now be “safe by design” or be supplied with child safety devices installed at point of manufacture.
If you have a blind installed prior to 2014, you can significantly reduce the danger of serious injury and strangulation by following these dos and don’ts;
- Tie-up cords out of children’s reach using a cord shortener, cleat or safety clip.
- Place a child’s cot, bed, highchair, playpen or items of furniture near a window blind.
- Cut the cord. If one cord becomes longer than the other can increase risk of entanglement.