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Blind Cords

The UK’s family safety charity has welcomed news that IKEA is to stop selling blinds with cords in a bid to save children’s lives.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has hailed the move by the furniture giant as an important step forward in improving child safety.

 The charity has been working across the UK to raise awareness about the dangers of looped cords for several years and hopes other blind retailers will take the opportunity to implement a similar change.

RoSPA’s own research shows that at least 27 toddlers have been killed by blind cords and chains in the UK between 1999 and 2014, of which around half have occurred since 2010.

Elizabeth Lumsden, community safety manager for RoSPA Scotland, said: “This is fantastic news. Not only will it help to save many lives but it is an important step forward for the blind cord industry. It is encouraging to see such a well-known furniture retailer taking the necessary steps to help prevent further tragedies.

“Any move that reduces the risk to children is a move in the right direction. Too many lives have been needlessly affected by the dangers of looped blind cords, which is why we called upon the blind industry to take voluntary action to reduce the risk.

 "We hope that other major retail stores will make the same promise as IKEA to stop selling window blinds with cords.”

Research indicates that most accidental deaths involving blind cords happen in the bedroom to children between 16 months and 36 months old, with the majority (more than half) happening at about 23 months.

To reduce the risk posed by looped blind cords, RoSPA’s advice is:

·  Install blinds that do not have a cord, particularly in a child's bedroom
·  Do not place a child's cot, bed, playpen or highchair near a window
·  Pull cords on curtains and blinds should be kept short and kept out of reach
·  Tie up the cords or use one of the many cleats, cord tidies, clips or ties that are available

RoSPA has distributed hundreds of thousands of safety packs containing an advice leaflet and a cleat - a small plastic device that is fitted to the side of the window for the operating cord to be wrapped around - to families and carers of young children.

Anyone wanting more information about blind cord safety should visit RoSPA

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