A hard-hitting video showing the potentially deadly risk of looped blind cords has been released.
The move, by the RoSPA, is to encourage parents, carers, grandparents and all those hosting young children this Christmas to make sure their blinds are safe.
The harrowing video, launched by the Public Health Agency alongside local councils in Northern Ireland, drives home the message that it only takes seconds for a child to lose their life on a blind cord. It has already been viewed more than 2000 times on safety charity RoSPA’s Facebook page, and 100,000 times in total.
Since 1999, there have been 30 confirmed child deaths linked to looped blind cords across the UK.
Millions of homes still have window blinds with looped cords that have no safety devices fitted, and as young children visit the homes of relatives and friends this Christmas, RoSPA is urging people to take action if they have looped blind cords without the appropriate safety devices.
Elizabeth Lumsden, community safety manager for RoSPA Scotland, said: “We’re hoping that as people get ready for Christmas, they can find time to check all the looped blind cords in their home, and to tie them up or use one of the many cleats, cord tidies, clips or ties that are available. Pull cords on curtains and blinds should be kept short and out of reach.
“Ideally, install blinds that do not have a cord, particularly in a child’s bedroom, and make sure to place children’s cot, beds, playpens and highchairs away from windows.
“This applies equally to any homes where young children will be visitors, as blind cord strangulation happens quickly and silently.”
Mary Black, assistant director of health and social wellbeing improvement with the Public Health Agency, said: “It is impossible to watch over our children 24 hours a day, so it is essential that we take time to make our home environment as safe as possible.
“As the video highlights, it can take as little as seconds for a toddler to lose their life after becoming entangled in a window blind cord or chain. Simple steps – such as securing cords and chains with safety devices and keeping furniture away from windows so that children cannot climb on them – can help prevent deaths. It is important that parents, relatives and carers check their homes and proactively take steps to make sure that children are kept safe.
“Don’t leave it until it is too late – taking simple steps to make our homes safer for children is the best way to help prevent accidents.”
To view the video, visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/blind-cord-safety