Blind cord safety in spotlight during Family Safety Week
Accidents are the UK’s biggest killer of children, with under-fives being most at risk in the home.
As part of the first ever ‘Family Safety Week’, which is running throughout this week, the Public Health Agency (PHA) is reminding everyone about the dangers of blind cords and is working in partnership with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) to deliver a series of training sessions across Northern Ireland over coming weeks which aim to reduce the risks that blind cords pose.
Hilary Johnston, Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Manager with the PHA, said, “Internal window blind cords and chains can pose a risk to babies, small children and vulnerable people who could injure or even strangle themselves on looped operating cords and chains.
“It is important that parents, relatives and carers check their homes and proactively take steps to make sure that children are kept safe. Window blind cords and chains must be kept out of reach of babies and small children.
“There are many solutions for new and existing blinds. If you have babies or young children up to the age of five either living with you or visiting your home, please take some simple steps to reduce the risk that blinds can pose,” she added.
- Examine every blind in your home. If they have a looped control chain or cord and do not have a safety device fitted then you can easily install one of the many devices available.
- Ensure that all operating blind cords and chains cannot be reached by children.
- When buying a new blind, always look for one that does not contain cords, has concealed cords or has an in-built safety device and that complies with the new European Standards.
- Move cots, beds and any furniture away from windows and blinds – remember children love to climb.
Hilary continued, “The PHA is committed to helping eliminate the risks associated with hazardous looped operating cords, chains and tapes used on window blinds. We work with RoSPA, local councils, Home Accident Prevention Northern Ireland, Health and Social Care Trusts and others to inform both the public and professionals on measures to ensure that the home is a safe place for the whole family.”
For more information, and to download a free blind cord safety leaflet, visit www.rospa.com/blindcords
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