Yet another child has died after getting caught up in a blind cord

(73 Posts)
Itsfab Mon 28-Apr-14 19:08:13

The mother has said what every mother who has lost a child to the same accident has said - parents need to be aware of the dangers and children kept away from them.

I feel like something needs to be done. Common sense can't be relied on, neither can notices on the instructions they come with that not everyone will read.

There needs to be another way of using a blind that means the cord doesn't have to be a single unit. I am sure there is someone clever enough on here, or with a bright teenager, who could come up with something.

Not only is it so very sad to read about another death it is all so frustrating as it didn't need to happen. So many children have died, over 20 iirc. Do people think it won't happen to them or is the message really not getting out there?

SpottieDottie Mon 28-Apr-14 19:10:24

It can be the cord like it is now but in a plastic trunking, we have it over our blind cords and I have painted it the same colour as the wall that it is on.

GretaGarbosLeftThigh Mon 28-Apr-14 19:13:54

Not to be too dim about this but how does this happen (not in a how does a parent let this happen, not at all, those poor, poor parents) but how does it actually happen? Is it that a child climbs up on the windowsill and then falls with the cord caught around their neck? Without trying to be morbid about it, how it happens should inform the solution.

RunsWithScissors Mon 28-Apr-14 19:17:27

In Canada growing up, all the blinds were cordless. They had a springy type of mechanism that when you tug a bit it rolls up fast (like a tape measure).

Not sure why they never made it over here.

Mintyy Mon 28-Apr-14 19:18:27

That is so heartbreaking, and I'm absolutely astonished that there still isn't a law to cover this (as in fire retardant foam in sofas etc). I don't really understand why blind cords have to be in a loop anyway, but if they do, why can't there be a quick release join in the cord somewhere? If we can split the atom we can surely get this right??

Mintyy Mon 28-Apr-14 19:19:07

Perhaps this should be Mumsnet's next campaign?

ClubName Mon 28-Apr-14 19:23:57

When we had made to measure curtains done, with a pull cord closure, the lady who made and fitted them refused to sell ones with lose hanging cords for this reason. Once she had explained to me why, I wouldn't have bought them anyway but it really wouldn't have occurred to me that they could be so dangerous without her advice.

So sad. I agree an public awareness campaign is necessary.

Itsfab Mon 28-Apr-14 19:24:46

That was my thinking, Mintyy.

The child who died was 2 sad.

Itsfab Mon 28-Apr-14 19:26:28

Maybe I am always assuming the worse then as as soon as I saw the blind came with a looped cord we made it safe as I knew what could happen.

Forgettable Mon 28-Apr-14 19:30:24

So sad, poor child and poor family

Good call Mintyy

tiddleypompom Mon 28-Apr-14 19:32:28

We bought blackout blinds recently from Dunelm & had to pay more (around 3 times?) for cordless ones. The mechanism is high up & a sort of winder made of plastic coated metal.

Cost could therefore be a factor in not purchasing 'safe' blinds, as the option does exist.

Kids do play in curtains & blinds - my two love hiding behind curtains. I'm guessing the poor children who have died have simply got the cord twisted around their necks & eventually it has twisted sufficiently tight to asphyxiat (sp?)

How utterly devestating for their parents, family & friends.

Mintyy Mon 28-Apr-14 19:34:10

I was watching an ultimate home makeover Grand Designs type programme on tv recently and was appalled to see the Mum opening the blinds in the nursery of this fantastic £million + house, with the blinds having a looped cord. I just thought surely she, if anyone, would have a state-of-the-art blind. Was honestly worried about her beautiful little baby.

FatalCabbage Mon 28-Apr-14 19:38:24

All the blinds we've bought in the last few years (we've been in this house for three years) have had a quick release snap on the cord - it snaps with more than the gentlest handling, so you can't even draw the blind quickly. And they've all come with a clip thing to attach the cord to the wall so there's nothing hanging loose.

I think manufacturers have reacted appropriately by making these changes. We're also pretty fanatical about attaching furniture to the wall.

Perhaps it should be something midwives should address at an antenatal stage, when people have time and the inclination to do DIY, or while they're preparing a nursery. Waiting until they're mobile is too bloody late.

Poor tiny person, and poor devastated family.

FatalCabbage Mon 28-Apr-14 19:39:56

Oh and ours were cheap with looped cords. You can make them safe and they come with the instructions to do so.

BankWadger Mon 28-Apr-14 19:40:34

In NZ/Aus blinds either do the spring back thing like described up thread, or instead of a looped cord, there is a long plastic wand that you spin around. It connects by a small hook at the top, where the cord would pull through on a British blind. As a result I had never heard of a child dying in this manner until I moved here.

Joules68 Mon 28-Apr-14 19:44:29

I had wondered today whether something like this had happened

I work in a DIY store and had a few customers asking for the hook for the spare cord. Quite unusual ( it's called a cleat hook by the way) I think they were attaching extra ones to keep the cord out of the way

bodiddly Mon 28-Apr-14 19:44:29

As of last month the legislation has changed and very strict new conditions have been brought into force in the blind industry. This does not help with existing blinds previously fitted as there is no legal obligation to retro fit safety mechanisms but it should offer protection for the future.

MetalLaLa Mon 28-Apr-14 19:44:54

We bought a roller blind for our DD's bedroom just the other week and DH made sure that the supplied safety bit (can't think of a proper term for it, it's drilled into the wall and secures the loop cord in an enclosed plastic fixture) was included and he fixed it immediately. I definitely agree with the idea of a campaign to raise full awareness of the dangers involved with not securing cords properly.

A friend of mine heard a noise from her dd's bedroom, went in and found her hanging from the blind cord.
The little girl had put it around her neck and jumped from the window sill. She was only three and playing a game but if my friend hadnt heard the noise she wouldn't be here now. She was choking when her mum found her.
I immediately checked all my blind cords to see that they were all in two pieces, we pull the loop apart to leave two hanging bits.
Such a shock! And this is a very sensible family so I was surprised they hadn't realised how dangerous the cords are.
Must be a lot of people who aren't aware.

Joules68 Mon 28-Apr-14 19:46:00

Yes all of our blinds were taken off sale and returned to manufacturers to have new legislation attached..... A few disgruntled customers! But if they've seen the news they will see it's a real problem and we didn't do it to just piss them off!

NormHonal Mon 28-Apr-14 19:53:42

I agree this should be a MN campaign. RoSPA is trying, but the message isn't out there enough yet. It needs to be law.

I bought some wonderful safety devices from John Lewis called Lock Away to make our conservatory blinds safe. The salesman and fitter from Hillarys had sold the blinds to us and fitted them at HUGE expense, knowing it was a room we planned to use as baby DD's playroom, and said nothing about the risks. Nothing. Not even a leaflet. They could have sold safety devices as add-ons, we would have paid for them!

If I hadn't read about it in the news, I dread to think what might have happened.

NormHonal Mon 28-Apr-14 19:55:06

X-most, good to see the legislation has changed somewhat.

NormHonal Mon 28-Apr-14 19:55:25

Gah, x-post!

NormHonal Mon 28-Apr-14 19:57:23

Is it the law for rented accommodation and hotels, public places to have these in place?

We were on holiday recently in purportedly family accommodation and I had to tie the blind cords up out of the way. Happened when we went away last Easter too - I left lengthy feedback about it in both cases.

Nocomet Mon 28-Apr-14 19:59:42

DD2(13)'s blind cords are incredibly long and dangerous, she didn't have them until she was about eight and would go mad if I cut them, because she can work the blinds and I can't.

I tie them round the curtain rail if my DF's toddler comes to visit.

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