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Childproofing the home is one of the biggest, most important tasks when raising a family.

Almost everybody combats the obvious; hot stoves and sharp knives, poisonous chemicals and staircases, to name a few. There are some dangers which slip our minds because they may not seem harmful to us – but they can be deadly for some young children.

There are “modern-day hazards” including small remote controls, magnets, batteries and treadmills, but there are also plenty of traditional items of furniture which can cause injury.

One such hazard in the home is curtain and blind cords. While cords are easily forgotten for us, they can lead to serious – and sometimes fatal – injuries with small children.

Last week, two Sydney families suffered from horrific tragedies when their children strangled to death on blind cords. A 15-month-old was strangled by on a blind cord in Quakers Hill, NSW recently, and a 16-month-old from Hornsby, NSW died after being entangled in a cord while she slept. Devastating incidents like these should act as serious wake up calls for the rest of us. We should take action to prevent such an accident from ever happening again.

Of course, we cannot protect our young from every possible hazard which comes its way. Some accidents are unavoidable, but not all. We can work hard to prevent avoidable accidents and injuries. Some can be avoided using common sense and learning from error, while others can be avoided using simple, effective and affordable household safety items.

Last year, an 18-month-old boy also died after being accidentally strangled in his sleep by a blind cord. Unaware of the danger, the cot was placed next to a window with vertical blinds. His parents later issued a warning to others about the danger of “something so silly,” which has changed their lives forever.

“My biggest message would be check the layout of the room and then while you’re in there give them a big kiss, because that’s what we miss,” said the boys mother, Linda Mackay.

While statistics regularly show that there has been a vast improvement in prevention of injury and accidental death, they do still occur regularly. Being careful means more than driving slowly, turning off hot water, and locking away chemicals. It also means checking every corner of the house for potential danger, and doing everything possible to avoid injury.

Speaking to Fairfax Media last week, Dr Danny Cass, head of trauma at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead said,

The overall message is don’t panic, kids have never been safer but a lot of common sense goes a long way

“So just do a careful review of a hanging point in the nursery, care for the button batteries and hot water, proper restraints in cars, they’re all common sense things. We’re not wrapping our kids in cotton wool, or a nanny state, it’s just common sense.”

Tragic stories such as these remind us that we need to continue being careful and safe around the home. Always ensure that blind or curtain cords are safely concealed, particularly in an unattended bedroom. Items such as the Dreambaby ® Blind Cord Wrap and Blind Cord Wind- Ups are an affordable and highly effective example of how to keep your little ones safe from a serious danger in the home.

Did you know?

(ACCC Statistics)

  • 1-2 Australian children die each year after being strangled by blind or curtain cords
  • Between 2001-2008, there were at least 11 deaths in Australia. Nine of these were of children under three years of age
  • In the US, a child aged between 7 months and 10 years dies each month after being strangled on curtain and blind cords.

Click here to learn about the mandatory standards for blinds and curtains in Australia

Click here to learn about the mandatory standards for blinds and curtains in Australia

Image of “child looking through blinds” from shutterstock
  • There have been too many child deaths from these blind cords. So lucky and glad we only ever had curtains

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  • Some sad statistics there, they shouldn’t be happening at all, so preventable.

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  • Is so sad that there are deaths by blind cords who would ever of thought you just cant be to careful.

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  • Thanks for this very important article and for raising awareness.

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  • Great tips and advice, thank you for sharing the site for standards for blinds and curtains in Australia.

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  • sad to hear of the deaths from such a simple little thing

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  • Have heard some horrible stories about cords

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  • this is a wonderful idea child proofing your home , as most accidents do happen at home,,,,, with adults and children alike

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  • It’s good to spread the warning about blind cords.

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  • such tragedy in the news lately with these cords

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  • Always best to check things and be safe in your home with kids

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  • Sadly some people still believe ‘it won’t happen to me’.. You can never be too careful!


    • it is so true. of course when you are extra careful people just call you paranoid and tell you to relax!

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  • I made sure all the cords were up and out of reach. They can be so dangerous for little ones. I even took the cords out of my childrens hooded jackets as they are a hazard too.

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  • Have always been wary of cords.

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  • we have blinds but we have a hook high up and i hook the excess up out of the way i would hate for something to happen

    Reply

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