Window blind cord danger to small children

Child looking through blind

Small children have died after becoming tangled in looped blind cords.  If you have window blinds with looped cords or chains, see the steps which can be taken to minimise this strangulation risk.

How to reduce the risk of strangulation

To reduce the risk from window blinds with looped cords and chains, the actions listed below are recommended:

  • install blinds that do not have a cord, particularly in a child's bedroom, where most deaths have happened.  For example, install wand or spring operated blinds.  Cords ending in a loop are particularly dangerous
  • pull-cords on curtains and blinds should be kept short and out of reach of children
  • tie up the cords or use one of the many cleats, cord tidies, clips or ties that are available
  • where cords cannot be cut or tied down, a tension device can be used to pull the cord tight and secure it to the floor or wall 
  • do not place a child's cot, bed, playpen or highchair near a window or patio door where a child can reach a curtain or blind cord 
  • keep sofas, chairs, tables, shelves or book cases away from windows to prevent children climbing up and reaching curtains or blind cords.

It is not recommended that cords are cut short as a temporary solution.  Instead it is recommended that preventative action is taken which results in a permanent fix that will keep the cord out of the reach of children.  In addition, do not hang toys or objects that could be a hazard on the cot or bed and do not hang drawstring bags where a small child could get their head through the loop of the drawstring.

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