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Blind cord safety in spotlight during Family Safety Week


Public Health Agency

Type: News
Region: Republic of Ireland
Northern Ireland

Accidents are the UK's biggest killer of children, with under-fives being most at risk in the home.As part of the first ever 'Family Safety Week', which is running throughout this week, the Public Health Agency (PHA) is reminding everyone about the dangers of blind cords and is working in partnership with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) to deliver a series of training sessions across Northern Ireland over coming weeks which aim to reduce the risks that blind cords pose. Hilary Johnston, Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Manager with the PHA, said: "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 is important that parents, relatives and carers check their homes and proactively take steps to make sure that children are kept safe. "Window blind cords and chains must be kept out of reach of babies and small children. There are many solutions for new and existing blinds. If you have babies or young children up to the age of five either living with you or visiting your home, please take some simple steps to reduce the risk that blinds can pose." Top tips Examine every blind in your home. If they have a looped control chain or cord and do not have a safety device fitted then you can easily install one of the many devices available. Ensure that all operating blind cords and chains cannot be reached by children.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. Move cots, beds and any furniture away from windows and blinds - remember children love to climb. For more information, and to download a free blind cord safety leaflet, visit Hilary continued: "The PHA is committed to helping eliminate the risks associated with hazardous looped operating cords, chains and tapes used on window blinds. We work with RoSPA, local councils, Home Accident Prevention Northern Ireland, Health and Social Care Trusts and others to inform both the public and professionals on measures to ensure that the home is a safe place for the whole family." Ita McErlean, RoSPA's Home Safety Manager in Northern Ireland, said: "During the UK's first-ever Family Safety Week, we are encouraging parents, carers and grandparents to look around their homes from a child's point of view to help spot potential dangers. "Accidents are the UK's biggest killer of children, with under-fives being most at risk in the home. RoSPA's own research shows that there have been at least 27 blind cord deaths across the UK since 1999, 14 of which have occurred since the start of 2010. "There are 200 million blinds already fitted in UK properties, which is why it is so important to continue to raise awareness of the risks that looped blind cords pose. Joint effort is needed to ensure that looped blind cords are kept out of the reach of children. Please visit   "We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland and we plan to deliver joint blind cord safety awareness training in the near future." Dr Michael McBride, the Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland, said: "The death of young children as a result of entanglement in looped blind cords is a particularly distressing type of accident and I welcome Family Safety Week and the blind cord safety workshops. "It is essential that parents and carers are aware of the dangers presented by window blind cords and I would urge all those who have young children living in, or visiting their homes, to take steps to make their blind cords safe. "I commend the PHA and partner organisations for the work that they do in raising awareness of the dangers and look forward to working with them in the coming months to consider if there is more that can be done to reduce accidents and deaths associated with blind cords."





Rights: Public
Suggested citation:

Public Health Agency. (2014) Blind cord safety in spotlight during Family Safety Week [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 20th September 2019].


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