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Blind cord accidents lead to RoSPA call for better safety measures

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RoSPA has been calling upon the blind industry to reduce the risk posed by looped blind cords since 2004. They are now investigating possible design modifications and working to raise awareness of safety issues by working alongside the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN), the British Blind and Shutter Association (BBSA) and the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT).
Manufacturers and retailers are being called upon to enter into a voluntary agreement which, it is hoped, will end the sale of blinds with looped cords altogether. Meantime, some form of safety device needs to be fitted to existing blinds.
The current European standard (EN13120) on looped blind cords states that safety devices must be supplied. The standard is currently being strengthened and it is hoped the revisions will come into effect this summer. Big names such as IKEA, John Lewis, Debenhams, Next and B&Q are enthusiastic about boosting corded blind safety and reducing the risks posed to children. However, these new standards will not have any effect on those who already have looped cord blinds in their homes.
Children aged 16-36 months most affected by blind cord deaths
Sadly, deaths caused by blind cords are common and research indicates that most happen in the bedroom and involve children aged between 16 and 36 months. Even with carers in close proximity, it is still easy for toddlers to suffocate quickly and quietly.
As a safety measure, blind cords must always be kept out of the reach of children and should be fitted with some form of safety device such as a break connector, cord tidy or cleat.
Blinds can cause severe and often fatal injuries
Suffocation can cause severe, life changing injuries such as brain damage, and in many cases, accidents involving blind cords can tragically be fatal. Wherever corded blinds are installed, those with responsibility for the premises should ensure their safety. Otherwise if an accident occurs, they could be liable for a claim.
If your child has suffered because of a blind cord accident, Stephensons’ personal injury claim specialists can help you claim the compensation needed to fund the care your child may require as a result of their injuries. We have extensive experience and expertise in accidents involving children and particular skill in proving blame, even where it is contested.
For confidential, sympathetic advice, call us on 01616 966 229.
By personal injury solicitor, Kate Sweeney