Study finds window blinds with cords pose deadly risk to children
When you have young children in a home, great consideration needs to be taken to ensure the entire space is child-proofed. There are many objects in a home which can cause harm and be gravely hazardous to a small child. Whilst you may have considered putting childproof latches on cupboards, installing baby gates, and placing guards on sharp furniture corners, have you thought about the risk blind cords pose?
In December 2017, an American study published in the scientific journal ‘Pediatrics’ demonstrated the extent of the dangers posed to young children by window blinds. Taking information from 100 A&E departments across the US between 1990-2015, it was found that just under 17,000 blind-related injuries in children under 6 years old were treated in hospitals. Although most injuries were relatively minor, there were 271 recorded deaths, of which 94% were due to the child becoming entangled in blind cords or chains.
The paper goes on to highlight that these blind-related hazards to children have been present for over 70 years and continue to pose a risk of hospitalisation and death to this day. The researchers, therefore, propose that mandatory safety standards should be introduced in America which would ban accessible window blind cords.
EU 2014 safety legislation
In February 2014, improved EU legislation was introduced to try and make new blinds safer for children and hopefully avoid such tragedies as in the US study above. What’s more, with safety campaigns such as ‘Make It Safe’ from the British Blind and Shutter Association (BBSA), awareness is increasing in the UK of these potential dangers too.
The 2014 legislation improves child safety in relation to blinds by:
- Limiting cord and chain lengths
- Making safety devices which prevent hazardous cord/chain loops necessary
- Ensuring that new blinds have safety devices fitted on cords/chains during their manufacture
- Improving testing of safety components
- Improving safety warnings and instructions on products
‘Safe by design’ blinds
There are many mechanisms of blind which do not require the use of potentially hazardous cords or chains at all; these can, therefore, be deemed ‘safe by design’ blinds. Such blinds can be operated in several ways, including via a rotating wand, by simple manual pulling or electrically through motorised blinds. All these options remove the need for cords and the subsequent strangulation risk, making them ideal choices for homes with young children. UK Blinds Direct supply many forms of ‘safe by design’ blinds, as well as providing blinds which have tried and tested cord/chain safety mechanisms installed and meet all legislative requirements.
UK Blinds Direct offer a wide selection of high quality blinds, including those which are ‘safe by design’ and child-friendly. With these mechanisms available on many styles of blind – including Venetian, roller, vertical and pleated – you won’t have to sacrifice style for safety. With many years of experience and a strong reputation throughout Sheffield and Rotherham, trust our skilled team of experts to provide and install the perfect blinds for your home. Contact us today for further information.