It takes only seconds for a toddler to lose their life on a blind cord – make your home safe

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Wednesday, December 21st, 2016
Community
Blind cord safety videoThe dangers associated with blind cords are being highlighted in a video being launched by the Public Health Agency (PHA), in association with local councils in Northern Ireland, to encourage everyone to make their home blind cord safe. Speaking to Newry Times, Dr Michael McBride, Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland, said, “Home accidents can easily be prevented by being aware of the dangers and hazards that are present in the home environment and putting in place interventions to minimise the risks. “Internal window blinds can pose a big risk to children between the ages of 16 months and 36 months. In Northern Ireland there have been three blind cord deaths in the past three years and at least 31 children have died in the UK since 1999. Article continues below: 2nd-dec-2016-big-box“The video aims to highlight the dangers of looped blind cords and look at ways in which blind cord injuries and deaths can be reduced. “We would say to all adults, go around your home and: examine every blind. 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; move cots, beds and any furniture away from windows and blinds – remember children love to climb; 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.”
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30th-nov-2016-small-boxDr McBride continued, “New blinds are covered by improved European safety legislation that came into force in 2014, meaning they have been rigorously tested and if appropriate would have a chain break connector where the chain will break if any pressure is applied. However many homes have blinds fitted before this so it is important to check them all.” To view the video visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/blind-cord-safety For further advice on how to make your home blind cord safe, contact the home safety officer at your local council or your health visitor.

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