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Council reinforces blind cord safety message

09 October 2017

Parents in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area are being warned to take safety measures to protect their children from the risks of being strangled by window blind cords on windows.

Seamus Donaghy, Head of Health and Community Wellbeing warned that hundreds of homes across the Council area may contain a potentially lethal trap for children, especially those under the age of three.

He explained that recent statistics indicate that most accidental deaths involving blind cords happen in the bedroom and occur in children between 16 months and 36 months, with the majority (more than half) happening around 23 months.

“These toddlers are mobile, but their heads weigh proportionately more than their bodies compared to adults and their muscular control is not yet fully developed, which makes them more prone to be unable to free themselves if they become entangled. In addition, toddlers’ windpipes have not yet fully developed and are smaller and less rigid than those adults and older children. This means that they suffocate far more quickly if their necks are constricted.”

Encouraging people to reduce the risk posed by looped cords, including blind cords, by keeping them out of the reach of children at all times,  Seamus says the Council is proactively working with consumer protection and businesses to ensure they are meeting the full legal requirements in the manufacture, selling and installation of window blinds.

“Our home safety officers are continuing to raise awareness of the dangers of blind cords and can supply safety devices for blinds for your home through our home safety equipment scheme.”

Further advice and to view a video on window blind safety please visit our website at http://www.derrystrabane.com/blindcordsafety or contact the Council’s Home Safety Team at 028 71 253253.