Since 2004 there have been 33 child/toddler deaths in the UK due to young children being accidentally strangled within window blind cords. Unfortunately control chains and blind cords were creating hazardous loops that proved fatal in some cases. This is a frightening statistic. RoSPA (The Royal Society for the prevention of Accidents) is an organisation which works to change attitudes, as well as change legislation to prevent these accidents.
In February 2014 new legislation was introduced which tightened the existing 2009 European legislation, so that safety precautions were extended to all types of blinds:
- Roman Blinds
- Venetian Blinds
- Roller Blinds
- Pleated Blinds
- Austrian Blinds
- Bottom up blinds
- Festoon blinds
- Panel blinds
At Sue Whimster Curtains we make and supply some of the blinds above, and we ensure our processes adheres to this legislation.
We are required to make all our blinds with child safety devices and make sure we use devices that have been tried and test to pass legislation by Bureau Veritas. We are therefore not allowed to leave loops in the blind without a safety device installed. These safety widgets are designed to break apart when tension is applied.
As a company that makes and installs blinds we must ensure these devices are properly fitted and we are proud in the knowledge that our blinds meet the high standards expected from the welcomed safety legislation.
OFFICIAL BBSA CHILD SAFETY DOWNLOAD
Legal Requirements for internal window Blinds
It is important to point out that the legislation is fairly new, and there are millions of blinds that were fitted before the legislation which still pose a risk to young children. It is important for parents to be aware of the danger.
If they move into a new property, or stay with friends or relatives they should check for these dangers. Do not place cots or playpens etc. near windows, look for looped cords not only on blinds but other items such as clothes bags. If parents employ carers or nannies they need to be informed of the danger.
We suspect a lot of young parents are not aware of these dangers and although over time these items will become safer, it is important to recognise the existing dangers so that they are acknowledged and avoided.