Parents in Derry 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 Derry & Strabane Council’s Health and Community Wellbeing, said that hundreds of local homes may contain a potentially lethal trap for children.
He said that recent statistics indicate that most accidental deaths involving blind cords happen in the bedroom with children aged 16 to 36 months, the majority happening around 23 months.
Mr Donaghey said: “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.”
Local people have been urged to keep looped cords, including blind cords, out of the reach of children at all times.
The Council is working with consumer protection and businesses to ensure they meet 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 a video on window blind safety is available at www.derrystrabane.com/blindcordsafety or contact the Council’s Home Safety Team at 028 71 253253.