Blind Cords are lethal, there are those that will try to convince you that a small cleat placed 1.6 metres off the floor on a window architrave will in fact do the job, providing a safe environment for children.
“Wind the cord onto the cleat” Problem number one – the cleat does not accept the full blind cord.
“Fit a second cleat” Problem number two – the cleat is exposed. An older child or adult can easily unwind the blind cord, leaving the cords exposed.
The other equally relevant issue is the industry publicity that promotes the idea that such blind cords are now superseded with new cordless blinds or blinds with roller fittings replacing all corded blinds. Unfortunately that’s just not true.
There are millions of Corded Blinds still in active use worldwide. From the obvious situations of rental properties to the homes of low income parents who simply can’t afford to replace their internal blinds, corded blinds remain in use.
There is a solution – the Cordaway Safety Device – affordable, childproof and capable of accepting the full length of any indoor blind cord. Approved by Kidsafe Australia, the Cordaway units take five minutes to fit.
A snap cover keeps inquisitive little hands at bay.
For $9.60 a window, do you feel it’s worth protecting the lives of your children?
The tragedy of a child’s death is a massive burden and frankly some people just can’t abide the pain.
Katie and Angus McLaughlin who struggled to deal with trauma of little Muireann
Dad found dead 11 years after toddler blind cord death in devastating double family tragedy
Angus McLaughlin never recovered from the loss of toddler Muireann, who died when her neck was accidentally caught in a looped blind cord in the family home.
A dad whose two-year-old daughter died in a horrific blind cord accident has been found dead after struggling with the trauma of the tragedy.
Angus McLaughlin sent his widow Katie a time-delayed email, which she got after his body was discovered.
He had never recovered from the loss of toddler Muireann, who died when her neck was accidentally caught in a looped blind cord in the family home.
Katie, 50, told how health worker Angus suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after the little girl’s fatal accident.
And a legal wrangle with a lawyer over a £10,000 compensation payment added to his anguish.
Radiographer Angus, 50, was discovered in the family bathroom by their 15-year-old son Cian – who had also found Muireann – on March 16.
Katie, a part-time primary school teacher, said: “Before his death, he emailed me to say how much he loved me and that he always loved me and he loves the children.
Katie had tried to get help for Angus
“Angus had put a delay on the email so I didn’t get it until after he had died.
“In his email, he said he would be seeking out Muireann and they would look in on us.”
The toddler died after climbing on to a box to wave goodbye to her gran at her home in Menstrie, Clackmannanshire, in February 2008.
She tripped and knocked herself unconscious as her neck got caught in the looped blind cord. She died a short time later from strangulation.
Muireann is survived by her sister Aoife, 17, brother Cian, sister Aine, 10, and brother Ruadhan, five. Katie added: “Angus fought depression and PTSD after Muireann died. He always blamed himself for her death because he couldn’t revive her.
“Angus felt he should have been able to save her, even though a Fatal Accident Inquiry absolved him of any blame.
“It said she would have died within 20 seconds, even if someone had been in the room. But that was no help to him.
“The pain was too great and, in the end, it overwhelmed him. I’m utterly devastated. I knew he was struggling and had tried to get help for him.
“But it was hard to get Angus to seek help. He was having nightmares and flashbacks and wasn’t in a good place.”
Angus had been leading a claim against lawyer and employment tribunal judge Ian Smith Watson, who the couple alleged withheld £10,000 in compensation which was awarded after Muireann died.
Insurers acting for the company who installed the blinds agreed to pay out £100,000 in 2011 but the couple claimed that Smith Watson only gave them £90,000, despite his fees already being paid.
Katie said Angus – who had just started a new job at a private hospital in Glasgow – asked her to write to Smith Watson to again make a request for their cash.
She received a reply three days after Angus died. Smith Watson’s solicitor said he was not liable to make the payment.
Angus with Katie and their kids, left to right, Aoife, Ruadhan, Cian, and Aine
Katie added: “Angus felt he should have been stronger to support the family and deal with Ian Smith Watson.
“On the Friday before he died, Angus insisted I write to Mr Smith Watson, asking him to return the money to us and informing him of our intent to pursue a complaint against him with the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission if he refused.
“It was all too much for him in the end – it overwhelmed him.”
Last September, Smith Watson was found guilty of professional misconduct by the Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal in Edinburgh over his handling of a case involving the death of a newborn baby in 2008. The proceedings were brought by the mother, who had asked Smith Watson to make a medical negligence claim against the hospital.
She claimed he did not explain to her how legal fees and court costs were deducted from her final compensation payout. He was censured and fined £2000. Smith Watson declined to comment.
Katie revealed that she has moved out of the family home. She and Angus chose to remain there following
Muireann’s death. But the mum has ruled out ever returning after being hit with the second tragedy.
She and the children are now living with relatives and she plans to sell the house.
However, Katie admitted that she is worried about the future.
A JustGiving page has been set up to pay Angus’s funeral costs and has already reached more than £6000.
Pupils at Alva Academy and strangers have also been making donations to the family.
Katie, who was also diagnosed with PTSD after Muireann’s death, said: “I now have four children to support on a part-time salary. My health is not good enough for me to go full-time.
“Any insurance payout will not be enough to support the family.
“We’ve had tremendous support from the local community. Pupils at the school have been giving our children cash and strangers have been coming to the door with money – sometimes as much as £150.”
She added: “The ripple effect when a child dies is huge. Two of our children have a sister that they never met.
“You just don’t lose your child but your future with them.”
Lawyer Ian Smith Watson
Angus’s funeral will take place at Falkirk Crematorium on Friday at 2.30pm.
His ashes will be scattered on Muireann’s grave and the isle of Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides, where he grew up.
Keith Brown, SNP MSP for Clackmannanshire and Dunblane, who has backed the family in their dispute with Smith Watson, said: “This was an absolutely tragic event and my sympathies are with the McLaughlin family for what they have suffered.
“I’ll continue to lend my full support to the family in their fight for compensation and I’m happy take up the case with the relevant organisations on their behalf should they wish me to do so.”
Police Scotland said: “Police in Forth Valley were called to a property in Menstrie on March 16 by the Scottish Ambulance Service.
“A 50-year-old man was sadly pronounced dead a short time later.
“The death is not being treated as suspicious and a report has been submitted to the procurator fiscal.”
Single units to 5 in quantity $9.60 each. Multiple units (over 6 units) $8.60 each plus shipping – standard Australia Post rates.
Cordaway was designed by an expert Window Installer, Mr Graeme Andersen. Graeme is a parent of 3 young boys and was simply gobsmacked that there was no effective product on the market protecting young children and toddlers from the lethal danger of Blind Cords.
A big thank you to Graeme, for his vision and understanding.
Cordaway – Keeping your children safe.