Blind Safety – Northern Ireland or Australia. It’s the same.

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

The dangers associated with blind cords are highlighted in a video launched last year by the Public Health Agency (PHA), in association with local councils in Northern Ireland, to encourage everyone to make their home blind cord safe.

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.

“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;
  • ensure that all operating blind cords and chains cannot be reached by children (In Australia by law the safety device must be 1.6m high off the floor)
  • 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.”

Dr 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.”

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 the 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,” concluded Mary.

Marcus Potts, Chair of Environmental Health NI at Ards and North Down Council, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Public Health Agency to raise awareness of blind cord safety. The death of young children as a result of entanglement in looped blind cords is a particularly distressing type of accident. Joint effort is needed to ensure that looped blind cords are kept out of the reach of children.”

To view the video visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/blind-cord-safety

Source: publichealth.hscni.net

For further information on Blind Safety visit Cordaway, the cord safety device that works.

Cordaway – Your loved ones deserve real protection, real safety

When parents experience the joys of welcoming a new child into this world, there is also this huge new responsibility. A precious new life, a new crib, new clothes, a nursery. Pretty soon it’s a year gone bye. Baby is starting to become adventurous – standing in their cot, looking out the window inquisitive.

By two they’re mobile. Move the cot away from the window. Make sure the blind cords are out of reach.

Stop the video right here. In up to 50% of older housing stock in Australia there are venetian blinds – with dangling unprotected cords. Add to this the thousands upon thousands of the very popular wooden plantation blinds sold through the mid 2000s up until today – again all with long dangling cords. Quite simply these represent serious safety risks to young children – strangulation is unfortunately a very real possibility. Realistically it’s a definite risk for all children aged up to 6-7 years of age. It takes but a short period – less than a minute for the child to lose consciousness. After 30-40 seconds, the risk is asphyxiation resulting in death or permanent brain damage.

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A plastic cleat may seem more attractive but in reality it’s probably limited in its safety application and easily accessed without an external cover.

‘Cordaway’ provides enough space to take the full blind cord. It is then protected by a childproof snap-on cover. The Cordaway device is 230mm high, 45mm wide and 28mm deep. It is attractive and was designed and then approved by Industrial Designers and Interior Designers. It is unobtrusive and yet completely contains the cords in a manner where they are inaccessible to small children. Only an adult will comfortably remove the outer cover. And consider at 1.6m from floor level the device is out of a small child’s reach fixed to the window architrave or wall. It is functional and fits in with modern decor.

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Once your children have reached safe age and you are confident of their awareness and common sense, it is a simple job to remove the Cordaway device if you desire. Simply fill up the screwholes and repaint the architraves.

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To be Kid-Safe, it’s really simple. Fit a Cordaway Device and ensure real safety for your family. Available soon.