Lincoln was a sweet little 3 year old boy. He loved his TV and videos – Paw Patrol was his favourite. He loved Shrek and Toy Story and would watch these shows over and over, while enjoying his snacks on the couch. He called his Grandma ‘Ganma” and was a proud big brother to his baby sister, Luna. At just 3 years of age, his life was tragically cut short.
This is his story.
“I was such a proud “Ganma” as Lincoln used to call me. He would collect the “lellows” (lemons) from the garden in his little backpack – and I just loved every moment I got to spend with him.” Kerrie recalls of her precious little Grandson.
“Sometimes I’d go and pick up Linc from daycare” shared Kerrie. “The joy on his face when he saw me was precious.”
In September 2020, Kerrie was working from home during the height of COVID and she had her phone turned down as she was in meetings. When she checked it just after 11am, she’d had 6 missed calls from her son, Rhys. When she rang him back, he was already on his way to the house where the kids had been staying with their mother since the weekend.
“Lincoln wasn’t breathing. That was all we knew, and we didn’t understand what it meant…” she told us.
Kerrie rushed there – only to find the street full of police cars and fire engines. As she parked and ran towards the house she was stopped and told that Lincoln had died.
“I can’t even begin to tell you what that was like.”
Lincoln had been playing in the lounge and had liked to climb up on the windowsill and jump onto the bean bag. His Mum went for a shower and came back to find the blind cord around his neck. Lincoln had been strangled by the cord.
“I was always paranoid about cords. I was aware of how dangerous they could be. In their two previous rental properties, I went through the house and checked them all. However, in this loungeroom, the blind cord was not attached to the wall.”
Kerrie and her family have been forever changed by Lincoln’s death.
“Watching your only child lose their child is devastating. Rhys had to be strong for Luna but the long term effects on her will no doubt become evident. At only 3 years old now, Luna is aware that her Lincoln is in the sky and that he loved her”, Kerrie explains through her tears.
On the day of the funeral, Kerrie noticed that the crumbs in the car from their last shopping trip together still remain.
For Kerrie, it’s a poignant reminder of the special time they had together.
“The first responders that day were deeply affected, and I know the detective in the case went home, hugged his kids and checked his blinds.”
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.
“It turns out that their rental property had blinds installed prior to 2010”, explains Kerrie.
“I want ALL rental properties, including private rentals like Airbnb’s to abide by the safety standards regardless of when the blinds were installed. I’d like to think of it as Lincoln’s Law. Maybe it can save another child…another family’s heartache. I want something positive to come from Lincoln’s tragic death.”
Devastatingly, 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 good news is there are some quick and simple actions you can take today to help ensure your curtain and blind cords are safe:
For more info, please head to www.kidsafevic.com.au/home-safety/curtain-and-blind-cord-safety/
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.