The national ‘Make it Safe’ campaign was first launched by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) in 2009 to highlight some of the dangers that cords and chains on window blinds can pose to babies and small children.
Although it can also affect older vulnerable children, research by RoSPA and BBSA has shown that children under five years old, particularly those aged 16 to 36 months are at most risk from blind cord or chain strangulation. Children of this age are prone to become entangled, lack the required co-ordination to untangle themselves and are more likely to be severely or fatally injured if they become caught up in a blind cord because their windpipes are not fully developed.
Since its launch, RoSPA has worked with the UK Chief Medical Officers, the British Blind and Shutter Association (BBSA), Trading Standards, retailers and manufacturers in Stockton-on-Tees and the wider UK to help reduce the number of injuries and deaths caused by blind cords.
New European standards to improve blind cord and chain safety were introduced in February 2014, making it a requirement that new blinds must be “safe by design” or be supplied with appropriate child safety devices installed.
Councillor Steve Nelson, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Access, Communities and Community Safety, said: “We know that most parents and carers are well aware of the common hazards around the home but some everyday household objects such as blind cords can also be dangerous to babies and children.
“The ongoing Make It Safe campaign highlights the risk of injury or strangulation associated with blind cords that people may not be aware of and helps ensure their blinds are compliant with European standards. We are committed to the safety of all our residents so we are pleased to support the campaign and raise awareness.”
For more information about the Make it Safe campaign, visit www.makeitsafe.org.uk or contact the Council’s Trading Standards team on 01642 526560 for further advice.