The Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) has published some useful information in regards to understanding the risks blind cords have on your child's safety.

"Blind cords are lethal and silent killers of babies and young children which lurk in homes of parents and carers of young children."

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So why are toddlers and young children so at risk?
Toddlers and small children are naturally inquisitive and love to climb, BUT

  • They won’t understand that they are at risk of a fall when they climb onto furniture.
  • If they wobble, they’re not likely to have learnt how to steady themselves.
  • Their heads weigh proportionately more than their bodies and their muscle control isn’t fully developed, so it’s very hard for them to free themselves if they get trapped in a blind cord.
  • Their windpipe is narrow and soft, so they can suffocate very quickly when their necks are constricted.

All these factors mean they are especially vulnerable to strangulation from looped blind cords and chains.

How does it happen?
We tend to think of home as the safest place for our children, especially their bedrooms. We tend to think of blinds with their cords or chains as part of the furniture. BUT

  • toddlers like to climb to explore but are unsteady and can reach a blind cord
  • they can get caught up in the looped cord or chain if they dangle down, or put their head in the loop
  • their cot or bed may be close to a window that has a hanging blind cord
  • they may be playing in a room where there are blind cords, like a lounge

Even if your cords or chains seem like they are well out of the way, children might still reach them. Toddlers can climb up on chairs, beds, cots and tables, and suddenly reach places they hadn’t the day or week before.

Advice for Families from CAPT:

  • Fit a tensioner to chains or a cleat hook to tie blind cords up well out of young children’s reach and use it every time you open or close the blinds. New blinds will come with these included

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  • Bear in mind that, as children develop, they can climb on furniture and other objects, and might reach higher than you think.
  • Move cots, beds, highchairs and playpens away from looped blind cords and chains. If there’s space, try to move other furniture away from blind cords and chains too, as young children love to climb.
  • Always consider blinds which contain no operating cords or chains in children’s bedrooms first. These are inherently safe and there are options for every blind style.
  • Check all rooms of the house for looped blind cords or chains, especially rooms where children play, like the lounge.
  • Make sure the cords on the back of Roman blinds are connected with a safety device that breaks away under pressure.

For more information on Blind Cord safety read the full article by CAPT on their website by clicking here.

For more information about the National Campaign on Blind Cord safety, including downloadable resourced, click here.

 

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