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New safety rules to protect families from blind cord tragedies

Blind cord safety. PNL-140326-171730001

Blind cord safety. PNL-140326-171730001

New safety rules for window blinds that could help prevent future deaths of children have been welcomed by the county’s safeguarding board.

The new standards include limitations on cord and chain lengths, the fitting of safety devices at the point of manufacture, product warnings, point of sale information and instructions on packaging.

It also covers safety devices that can be fitted to existing blinds with cords or chains.

Two Hertfordshire families - one from Markayte and the other in Royston - suffered the tragedy of losing a child when, in two separate incidents, they were choked after becoming entangled in deadly blind cords.

Harrowing statistics reveal that most accidental deaths involving blind cords happen in the bedroom, with an average of two children dying each year in the UK.

The new standards come as a result of continued campaigning by the British Blind and Shutter Association.

It has been welcomed by the county’s chair of safeguarding children board, Phil Picton, who said: “The board has continued to promote the safe use of blinds, particularly awareness of the dangers of looped blind cords and chains. We therefore welcome these new child safety requirements for window blinds in homes and other buildings but would remind parents and carers that any existing older blinds in a home, especially if moving to another house they are unfamiliar with, may not have been subject to these new requirements, so please ensure you take precautions.”

Parents and carers are advised to check blinds as part of their household child proofing process. Blind cords that are looped or could form a loop should be put out of reach using a safety device. These devices are low-cost, easy to fit and can be purchased online or at a DIY store.

Leaflets on blind safety are available by emailing admin.hscb@hertfordshire.gov.uk or get more safety advice at by clicking here

 

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