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 only takes seconds for a child to lose their life on a window blind cord so take steps to make sure your children are safe.
If you already have blinds fitted in your home, there are some practical, simple precautions to help reduce the risk to babies and small children below:
• Examine every blind in your home and if any blind has a cord or chain that is looped or could form a loop – make sure a safety device is used to keep the cord or chain securely tidied away out of their reach
• Safety devices are available in the form of cord or chain tidies, P clips and cleats
• Do not place your child’s cot, bed, high chair or playpen near to a window blind
• Do not put sofas, chairs, tables, shelves or bookcases near a window blind as children love to climb
• Be mindful of blind cord safety in other places your children might visit and spend time like child minders, grandparents, friends and family, hotels and restaurants.
What to look out for when buying new blinds
When choosing new blinds for your home or places where babies or small children live or visit, always look for a blind that is ‘safe by design’ for example cordless or concealed cord systems. Some blinds have in-built safety devices, for example chain break connectors that break apart when undue pressure is applied on the operating chain. If new blinds are operated by cords or chains and do not have an in-built safety device, follow the instructions supplied and make sure all safety devices are fitted.
If professional installers are fitting your blinds, they must fit the safety devices.