As a parent, you want to be sure that your children are safe in your home and their own bedrooms. There are many stories of children who have sadly lost their lives after getting caught up in blind cords. Not everyone is aware of the dangers blind cords can pose to young children and vulnerable people so it is important to make others aware of the risks.
Here at Blinds Direct Online, we do everything we can to ensure that your blinds are safe for your children. As a minimum, our blinds meet the European Standard BS EN 13120 for both performance and safety. In addition, safety is at the forefront of each and every single one of our designs meaning that our products are not only stylish and high-quality, they’re safe too. We’re full supporters of the Make it Safe campaign. Young children are extremely inquisitive so blind cords should be kept out of reach to prevent children from being wrapped in the cord and suffocated.
According to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), since 1999 there have been at least 30 deaths across the UK attributed to blind cords and 18 of these have occurred since 2010. From 2004, the RoSPA has worked closely with industry bodies to encourage blinds manufacturers and suppliers to take voluntary action in order to reduce the risks of looped cords.
Blind cord safety is of utmost importance and new EU regulations have been introduced in recent years which means that new blinds must be safe by design or supplied with child safety cords or devices. Safety devices include those which will break under pressure or tension in the cord or chain or to provide the facility to store cords out of the reach of children.
What are the risks of blind cords?
Research shows that the majority of accidental deaths involving blind cords and children occur in the bedroom involving children between 16-36 months old. Toddlers are mobile and want to explore their surroundings and, at this age, their heads weigh proportionately more than their bodies compared to adults and muscular control is not fully developed making it harder for them to free themselves if they become tangled in the cord.
Toddler’s windpipes are not fully developed and are smaller and more rigid than an adult’s meaning that a small child can suffocate very quickly. It can only take a few seconds. Even with carers in close proximity, the rapidity and silence of becoming tangled can mean that accidents are easily missed until it’s too late.
What to look for when choosing new blinds
If you have children and you’re concerned about blind cord safety, there are a number of precautions you can take to protect your children in your home. When choosing new blinds for your home, always look for blinds that are safe by design. This means that they have cordless or concealed systems or chain break connectors.
All of our blinds at Blinds Direct Online are child-safe so, if you’re concerned about the safety of your home, you can be assured that anything you buy from us is completely safe. Blind cord safety is one of our top priorities and we want to make sure that you have everything you need.
Child Safety Devices
If you have existing blinds and don’t want to replace them immediately, there are a variety of devices you can use to make your blinds completely child safe.
These connectors are fitted to the blind cords and break when more pressure than is required to operate the blind is applied to the cord. This prevents children from strangulation from getting caught up in the cord. The chain simply clicks back onto the chain again if it’s been disconnected.
Cleats help you to tidy cords away in order to keep them out of children’s reach. The device connects to the wall out of a child’s reach and the cord is wrapped around in a figure of eight motion.
Cord stops are used for venetian blinds and work like a breakaway connector. The cord stop works when unnecessary pressure is applied to the cord. The cord stop prevents the cord from being pulled through the head rail.
Similar to a blind cleat, a tensioner attaches to the wall. It works to keep the blind cord taut which means there’s no chance of excess chain dangling down to be reached by children.
Precautions to take at home
If you want to make your blinds completely safe for children but you don’t have the budget to replace all of your blinds immediately, there are precautions you can take to protect your children but they are by no means a fail-safe option. We always recommend that you purchase child safe blinds when you can. It’s also important to make grandparents or other carers aware of blind cord safety too.
Do not place your child’s cot, bed, highchair or playpen near a window blind. You might think you have tucked the cord completely out of the way but small children will still explore and find it. If they were to pull the cord into their cot, they could easily become tangled.
Avoid putting furniture close to window blinds. Children love to climb and may find ways to reach blind cords by climbing on window sills or furniture with disastrous results.
Secure blind cords and chains to keep them out of reach of babies and small children. Make sure you don’t tie cords together and ensure they do not twist to create a loop. You can order safety devices online or pick them up from your local supplier. Cord cleats can be used to consolidate excess cord and keep it out of reach.