As children grow and become more mobile, they can form a fascination with a number of items in and around our homes – one of the items they do like to explore and play with are curtain and blind cords.
Loose blind and curtain cords/chains, particularly those with loops, pose a significant strangulation hazard for children as they can place the loop over their head and/or become tangled in the loose cords.
One or two Australian children die every year due to an injury involving curtain and blind cords – at least 21 young children have died as a result since 2001.
The mandatory standard for blinds, curtains and window fittings (in place from 30th December 2010) requires all new window furnishings to come with warning labels and to be installed with tensioning devices. However, as this standard is not retrospective, curtain and blinds that were installed prior to 2010 still need to be made safe.
Depending on the types of curtains/blinds that you have in your home, there are various kits and devices purchased from your local hardware store or curtain and blind retailer that can help you to make them safe.
Consumer Affairs Victoria also have free curtain and blind cord safety kits containing devices that tension looped cords to a window frame, so they are no longer loose, reducing the likelihood of strangulation. For more information on the free safety kits or to order one for your home, please visit this site.
The good news is there are some quick and simple actions you can take today to help ensure your curtain and blind cords are safe: