Most people wouldn't consider their window coverings to be dangerous. However if you have young children, blinds and curtains cords can be a potential death trap!
It only takes a few seconds for a young child to get tangled in a cord that is too long or looped, and if the infant struggles or slips, it can act like a noose and strangle them.
More than a dozen young children in Australia have died as a result or cord strangulation since 2000, including two in Victoria in 2009.
Josh Wakeham, aged just 22 months, was killed in a freak accident when the cord from his bedroom window blind became wrapped around his neck. His mother Tracey warns parents about the danger of looped cords.
Young children have a very high curiosity level, so anything dangling can seem appealing to them. Hence it is crucial to implement practices to ensure your blind and curtain cords are not putting your kids at risk.
How to protect your children from blinds and curtains cords
- keep the cords out of reach, especially if they can climb onto furniture
- keep them away from cots, high chairs, playpens and other kids items
- avoid low-hanging cords; the bottom of the cord should be at least 160cm above the floor
- install safety devices and wrap blind cords firmly around a hook high on the wall
If you have older blinds with looped cords, these can be particularly dangerous. Cutting these just above the tassel and making new breakaway tassels will make these a lot safer.
Other ways to make your cords safer
You can request a free safety kit from Consumer Affairs Victoria or purchase other safety devices from hardware stores.