Blind Cord Safety And Black Out Blinds

Every year, an average of two young children in the UK are strangled to death by looped blind or curtain cords. There are at least twice this number of reported near stranglings. These children are often playing unsupervised in a different room of the house to their parents,  and suffocate so quietly that they are simply found dead or unconscious.

Parents can’t be expected to watch their children 24/7, especially in their own home, but they should do their best to make sure their child’s environment is as safe as possible. Blind and curtain cord safety is one of the most neglected aspects of  ‘baby proofing’ a house. Most new drapes and blinds now come with some form of safety device, such as a chain/cord-break connector, chain/cord tidy or cleat, but there are plenty of older cords out there,  just dangling invitingly, in the homes of newly mobile toddlers.

Most accidental deaths involving blind cords happen in the bedroom, and occur in children between 16 months and 36 months old. The majority of children killed in this way are around 23 months of age.

Children this age are mobile, but have proportionally bigger heads than bodies when compared to adults. Their muscular control is relatively poor and their windpipes are smaller and more flexible than those of  older children. This means they suffocate rapidly if they get anything looped around their necks.

To reduce the risk posed by any looped cords, including blind or curtain cords, simply make sure they are kept out of reach of children.

  • Install blinds that don’t have cords, especially in children’s bedrooms.
  • Do not place furniture that a child could climb on near a window.
  • Pull cords on curtains or blinds should be kept short and out of reach of children.
  • Tie up looped cords, or buy and install a purpose-built cleat, cord tidy, clip or tie.
  • Don’t hang toys, backs, necklaces or other looped objects off the coat or bed, or anywhere that a child could get their head through.
  • Don’t cut a blind loop or cord; tie it up out of reach instead.

For more information on how to make blind or curtain cords safe in the home, visit this RoSPA page.




Posted in Uses for blackout blinds

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