Over the last six years 14 children in the UK have tragically lost their lives after becoming entangled in window blind or curtain cords.
Since February 2014 all blinds placed on the market have been subject to performance and safety requirements – but accidents can still be avoided by following a few simple rules.
Now Middlesbrough Council’s Trading Standards Team is supporting the British Blind and Shutter Association’s ‘Make it Safe’ campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the potential dangers
Middlesbrough Council Fair Trading Officer Jane Dent said: “We have been contacting businesses in Middlesbrough to remind them to check their products have maximum cord or chain lengths, have cords that don’t form a hazardous loop, are fitted with safety devices or safe storage devices if the design doesn’t eliminate the risk of a hazardous loop.
“Products must also be sold with safety warnings and safe use instructions.”
The advice from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) to protect children is:
- Install blinds that do not have a cord, particularly in a child’s bedroom
- Do not place a child’s cot, bed, playpen or highchair near a window
- Pull cords on curtains and blinds should be kept short and kept 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 hang toys or objects that could be a hazard on the cot or bed
- Don’t hang drawstring bags where a small child could get their head through the loop of the drawstring
Councillor Julia Rostron, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Adult Health and Social Care, said: “Parents and carers of children take every precaution to protect the safety of their children.
“However, they may not be aware that the cords from blinds and curtains can pose a serious risk.
“Blinds must be safe by design and professional installers will check that blinds and curtains are fitted or installed with the necessary safety or cord storage devices.
“If anyone has fitted blinds or curtains in their home they should check that any risk to children’s safety is removed by following RoSPA’s advice.”
Derek Fowler, Director of The Beautiful Blind Company in Middlesbrough who is supporting the campaign, said: “Blinds come in a range of materials and colours which can be attractive to children and can lead them to play with them and any cords that are in easy reach.
“If the cords or chains fitted to the blind are not tidied away out of reach or are not fitted with devices that would remove any risk of entanglement then then they can become a danger to children.
“Making sure our customers buy blinds that are best suited to their requirements, especially where extra safety precautions may be needed is very important to us.
“We want to ensure that children are not put at risks from cords.”
For further information follow the links to the Make it Safe campaign and The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents website: