Warning to parents after 31 child deaths caused by blind cords.

WARNING: SOME VIEWERS MAY FIND THIS VIDEO DISTURBING.

This harrowing video has been released showing how easily toddlers can be strangled by window blind cords, in a bid to cut the tragic number of deaths every year. At least 31 children in the UK have died as a result of blinds cords since 1999.

The message is that no parent can watch a child 24/7. New window blind safety legislation came into force in 2014. However many homes have blinds fitted before that date and older blinds need to be checked.

Dr Michael McBride, Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland, said: “The video aims to highlight the dangers of looped blind cords and look at ways in which blind cord injuries and deaths can be reduced.”

ADVICE TO PARENTS OVER BLIND CORDS

  • If they have a looped control chain or cord and do not have a safety device fitted, then you can easily install one of the many devices available.
  • Ensure that all operating blind cords and chains cannot be reached by children.
  • Move cots, beds and any furniture away from windows and blinds – remember children love to climb.
  • When buying a new blind, always look for one that does not contain cords, has concealed cords or has an in-built safety device and that complies with the new European Standards.

Dr McBride continued: “New blinds are covered by improved European safety legislation that came into force in 2014. However many homes have blinds fitted before this, so it is important to check them all.”

Mary Black, assistant director of health and social well-being improvement with the PHA, said: “It is impossible to watch over our children 24 hours a day, so it is essential that we take time to make the home environment as safe as possible.

“As the video highlights, it can take as little as seconds for a toddler to lose their life after becoming entangled in a window blind cord or chain.

“Simple steps – such as securing cords and chains with safety devices and keeping furniture away from windows so that children cannot climb on them – can help prevent deaths.

“It is important that parents, relatives and carers check their homes and proactively take steps to make sure that children are kept safe.

“Don’t leave it until it is too late – taking simple steps to make our homes safer for children is the best way to help prevent accidents.”
Read more at http://www.devonlive.com/warning-to-parents-about-window-bl-ind-cords/story-30185977-detail/story.html#FqkCLtMV2Ib4q5kV.99

Playing toddler ‘went limp’ after being strangled by window blind cord in front of horrified mum

Karen Shelley, 42, thought her son had died when she saw him hang “in slow motion” as his eyes bulged and he lost colour in his face

A mother told how she watched her son “in slow motion” as he became entangled in a window blind cord and hung himself as he “went limp” before her eyes.

Karen Shelley, 42, was watching her son Riley, 2, play with his younger brother Louis, 1, when he became trapped with the cord around his neck.

She was at home in Sheerness, Kent, when Riley stood up on a windowsill and fell through the plastic cord.

His 16-year-old sister Sammy rushed to his aid and pulled him up to save him from hanging.

He was rushed to hospital where doctors ran tests to check his oxygen levels.

The little lad is now recovering at home, and the bruising on his neck has disappeared.

But his mum wants to remind other parents of the dangers of leaving a blind cord free – and said how “lucky” she is that her son is still alive.

Karen told how she ran in slow motion towards her son, as her legs “turned to jelly” and she collapsed on the sofa in front of him.

shelley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The window blind cord as Karen would usually wrap it around the pole (Photo: Facebook)

shelley-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Riley hung for seconds from the window blind cord (Photo: Facebook)

She said: “It just happened so quickly. I honestly thought he was dead. My legs just collapsed under me as I crawled up the settee.

“He had hold of the cord on both sides of the loop and as he jumped down it went round his neck and pulled him back up a little – then he was just hanging there, limp.

“Sammy grabbed him, she got there before me and pulled him up.

“I just kept screaming ‘no, no, no, no’ – I thought he had died.

“His eyes started bulging out from his head and he turned this funny colour.

pay-shelley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karen has cut the cord off and is warning other parents of the dangers (Photo: SWNS)

“It’s amazing how quickly the colour went, it only took two or three seconds and he was completely pale.

shelley-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She was told that if the cord was lower, it could have been a fatal accident (Photo: Facebook)

Karen, who is also mum to 22-year-old Luke, told how she usually wraps the cord of her second-hand blind around the top of the pole.

The teacher’s assistant was aware of the risk of accidents around her children and said that morning, she had forgotten to wrap it around.

Karen said: “It’s so dangerous. It goes to show it only takes one day for something like this to happen.

pay-shelley-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karen Shelley with son Riley Stuart (Photo: SWNS)

“I’ve been so lucky and I know I was lucky. I just feel so sorry for the parents that have lost their children in this way.

“I did cut the cord in half but I can’t bear looking at it anymore so I cut it all off.”

Karen wants to raise awareness of the dangers of using blinds with a cord pull.

She said she wanted to share Riley’s story so that other parents will think before leaving their cord dangling free.

Karen said: “It just show how easily it can happen. I was 12 feet away from Riley but if my child was out of the room, it could have ended differently.

“If the cord was a few inches longer, it could have ended differently. We might not have been so lucky.”

This comes as another toddler was caught on camera silently strangling on a window blind cord as his mother filmed the rest of the family playing together in the living room.

Gavin Walla, from Wisconsin, US, can be seen in the horrifying home video hanging limply from the looped window blind cord, which is wrapped around his neck.

Gavin’s mother was filming a home video of her children playing together in their front room when she suddenly notices the toddler has stopped breathing.

Immediately, she drops the camera, screaming her son’s name as she desperately tries to untangle the cord.

toddler-seen-silently-strangling-at-the-end-of-a-looped-window-blind-cord

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Horror: Gavin stands limply in the corner (Photo: ABC)

Thankfully, her quick actions saved Gavin’s life and he’s heard in the video coughing and spluttering as he gasps for breath.

Gavin, who is now 17, wants people to see his home video in the hope of raising awareness about the very real dangers of window blind cords.

He told ABC News: “I’m glad that it’s out there. It saved the lives of other children that have been fortunate enough to have parents who have seen the video.”

It is thought more than 100 children have died in window blind cord accidents since Gavin’s.

toddler-seen-silently-strangling-at-the-end-of-a-looped-window-blind-cord-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now: Gavin wants his home video to serve as a warning to other parents (Photo: ABC)

Elliot Kaye, chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission told ABC: “I see decades, and I’m talking decades, about children once a month getting hanged to death by these products and it’s got to stop.”

The government first identify the window blinds as a hidden danger over 30 years ago.

But the cords remain a potentially deadly hazard to this day with many manufacturers still using them on many of their products.

IKEA and Target have already removed corded window blinds from their shelves due to safety concerns.

toddler-seen-silently-strangling-at-the-end-of-a-looped-window-blind-cord-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family: The Walla family want to share their story (Photo: ABC)

Walmart and several other stores have announced they will stop selling the products by 2018.

Ralph Vasami, the head of the Window Covering Association, an industry trade group, admitted that the hazard is still present but has been reduced by new safety features including breakaway cords and string that can be tied at a height children can’t reach.

They however do not recommend that corded window blinds should be used in homes with children.

 

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/playing-toddler-strangled-window-blind-9363464

 

Deva blinds join the "Make it safe" campaign

With the immanent ratification of BS EN 13120 where it will be mandatory for manufacturers and installers in the blinds industry to provide child safe blinds, Deva blinds have decided to join the “Make it Safe” campaign run by the British Blinds and Shutters Association.

Paul Pollard-Fraser, owner of Deva blinds said, “We have always taken child safety seriously when we fit blinds.  The new European legislation, BS EN 13120, is about to come become law.  By joining the “Make it safe” campaign run by the BBSA we will remain up to date with the legislation.”

“I am keen wherever possible to manufacture our blinds that do not pose a risk to young children and as such we no longer make vertical blinds with looped cords.  Our vertical blinds are now controlled by a wand, which is 100% child safe.”

“I installed a Roman blind made by one of our out sourced suppliers today.  The blind had a contentious looped cord and they had supplied a “P” clip that could not be attached to the cord.  As much use as a chocolate tea pot!.  The whole industry needs to get very serious about child safety.”

 

 

Make it safe

 

 

Paul Pollard-Fraser – Deva Blinds Ltd  devablinds.co.uk 

Second child in a week dies in Australia after getting tangled in blind cord

 

Another toddler has died after becoming entangled in a blind cord – the second incident in less than a week.

The 15-month-old girl was found choking on the cord about 6.25pm at a home on Hillcrest Road, Quakers Hill.

Paramedics and a CareFlight doctor worked to resuscitate the child before taking her to Westmead Children’s Hospital in a critical condition, where she later died.

Last Thursday, a 16-month-old girl in Hornsby died after becoming entangled in a cord while she slept in her cot.

 

And in August last year, 18-month-old Jack Mackay, from Mallabula, north of Newcastle, also died when he was caught up in blind cords.

KidSafe executive officer Christine Erksine said parents were not always aware of the dangers posed by blind cords.

“It’s just one of those horrible accidents that can happen,’’ Ms Erskine said. ‘‘It’s just something you wouldn’t be aware of.

“One of the issues is in smaller rooms, there’s not much choice about where to put furniture, so you may put the cot against the window for light and space.

‘‘We suggest that cots and bedding are away from a window. And you have blinds and cords that meet the new standards.’’

In 2010, the government introduced mandatory standards for blinds, stating that manufacturers had to include a warning label about cords on the packaging and attached to the cord itself.

Blinds also have to now come with instructions on how to install cords to prevent child injuries.

 

At least 11 children died in Australia between 2001 and 2008 after being caught in blind cords, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said.

It recommends tying cords out of reach of children. The ACCC has put together an information sheet for parents on blind cord safety.

Detectives from Quakers Hill Local Area Command are investigating Tuesday’s incident.

 

A post mortem examination will be conducted to determine how the child died.

Sign Cheltenham mum’s petition to start blind cords debate.

A MUM’S campaign to get window blind cords banned across the UK to prevent toddler deaths has gathered more than 5,000 names.

 

Amanda O’Halloran, from Tirley in Gloucestershire, started Sophia’s Cause after her 17-month-old daughter Sophia died by hanging herself on a blind cord.

 

She is calling for a Parliamentary debate on the issue, claiming the fact that all blinds can be bought with a cordless design rules out the need for the dangerous loops which dangle within reach of young children.

She needs to gather 100,000 signatures for her petition to force a debate. The number of people who have signed up stood at 5,026 last night.

 

Amanda said: “So many people are living with old blinds in their home that are a danger to children.”

 

The petition is at epetitions. direct.gov.uk/petitions/55067

Blinds expert backs ‘Legacy for Lucy’ campaign to ban looped cords

A MAN with more than 30 years of experience working in the curtain and blind industry has backed a campaign over the safety of looped blind cords.

As reported in the Daily Echo, grieving Bournemouth mum Annette Latimer is calling for people to back the ‘Legacy for Lucy’ campaign after her two-year-old daughter Lucy died when she got caught up in a blind cord in her bedroom five years ago.

Earlier this month, she found out that another little girl, Sophia Lily Parslow, aged 17 months, died in the same tragic way and she decided that something had to be done. She was the 28th child to die in such a way since 1999.

Chris Hodgkins, who is based in Canford Heath, said there were already devices that could prevent accidents – and he urged all parents to make sure they are fitted.

He said a device called a cord tidy was available to keep cords out of the way and they could be fitted retrospectively.

Chris added: “The blind manufacturers supply these and when I go out and measure a job I mention to people that if they have young children they should have them fitted. But some say they don’t want them fitted.

“It’s about three years ago that these came in and we think in the next 12 months that it will become law. It’s not just down to the fitters and suppliers, it is also down to the pub

Annette said she wanted as many people as possible to know of the dangers of the blinds and has launched a petition to get them completely banned.

She added yesterday: “If something else can be done that makes sure that, 100 per cent, everybody is safe, then that’s my aim.

“The more people that know, the more people that will go out and fit a device.”

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has been successful in asking the government to make it a regulation that these type of blinds are manufactured with breakaway connectors.

It has also encouraged parents to fit safety devices to existing looped cord blinds.

Blinds expert backs ‘Legacy for Lucy’ campaign to ban looped cords

A MAN with more than 30 years of experience working in the curtain and blind industry has backed a campaign over the safety of looped blind cords.

As reported in the Daily Echo, grieving Bournemouth mum Annette Latimer is calling for people to back the ‘Legacy for Lucy’ campaign after her two-year-old daughter Lucy died when she got caught up in a blind cord in her bedroom five years ago.

Earlier this month, she found out that another little girl, Sophia Lily Parslow, aged 17 months, died in the same tragic way and she decided that something had to be done. She was the 28th child to die in such a way since 1999.

Chris Hodgkins, who is based in Canford Heath, said there were already devices that could prevent accidents – and he urged all parents to make sure they are fitted.

He said a device called a cord tidy was available to keep cords out of the way and they could be fitted retrospectively.

Chris added: “The blind manufacturers supply these and when I go out and measure a job I mention to people that if they have young children they should have them fitted. But some say they don’t want them fitted.

“It’s about three years ago that these came in and we think in the next 12 months that it will become law. It’s not just down to the fitters and suppliers, it is also down to the pub

Annette said she wanted as many people as possible to know of the dangers of the blinds and has launched a petition to get them completely banned.

She added yesterday: “If something else can be done that makes sure that, 100 per cent, everybody is safe, then that’s my aim.

“The more people that know, the more people that will go out and fit a device.”

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has been successful in asking the government to make it a regulation that these type of blinds are manufactured with breakaway connectors.

It has also encouraged parents to fit safety devices to existing looped cord blinds.

Mum’s window blinds campaign goes out on Facebook

A MUM campaigning for a ban on window blind cords has made an emotional plea on Facebook.

Amanda O’Halloran, from Tirley, started Sophia’s Cause after her 17-month-old daughter Sophia died by getting tangled in a blind cord.

  1. Amanda O'Halloran

    Amanda O’Halloran

She is calling for a Parliamentary debate on the issue, claiming the fact that all blinds can be bought with a cordless design rules out the need for the dangerous loops that dangle within reach of young children.

She needs to gather 100,000 signatures for her petition to force a debate – and so far more than 3,600 people have signed up.

On Saturday she posted an emotional message on her Facebook page: “Ban Looped Blind Cords in the UK – Sophia’s Cause”.

She said: “I hate weekends in particular, what used to be family time is now nothing but loneliness.

“My life seems pointless without you Fifi, there’s nothing in this world I want more right now than to have you in my arms.

“Very heartbroken mummy right now.”

Sophia died on June 27 while she was playing in the living room of the family home. She was left alone for just a few minutes.

In another post Amanda added: “Please keep sharing Sophia’s Cause, there are still so many people out there who are unaware of the dangers that blinds with cords pose to young children.

“My beautiful baby girl paid the ultimate price and I feel it is my responsibility to warn others so that no more innocent lives are taken this way.

“Sophia’s death has affected so many people, my little girl is loved and missed by so many.”

At the time of going to press there were 3,685 signatures on the petition.

The online petition will close on September 23, 2014.

To add your signature go to epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/ 55067 and for more information go to the Sophia’s Cause Facebook page.
Read more: http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/Mum-s-window-blinds-campaign-goes-Facebook/story-19963811-detail/story.html#ixzz2iOUgWcEL
Follow us: @thisisglos on Twitter | thisisgloucestershire on Facebook

 

Mum takes Sophia’s Cause on to TV’s This Morning

sophiaone

Little Sophia

 

BEREAVED mum Amanda O’Halloran has taken her campaign to ban looped blind cords from home across the UK onto national television.

The 22-year-old, from Tirley, appeared on ITV’s This Morning show, to talk about the death of her 17-month-old daughter Sophia, who strangled herself on a blind cord earlier this year.

She said: “We had the stair gates, the fire guard, the plug sockets and we made sure all the doors were closed.

“We also had the clips that go on the cupboard to make sure she couldn’t get in the cupboards because she had an obsession with opening and closing doors.

“She was just constantly on the go all of the time.”

Amanda and her partner Chris Parslow never thought little Sophia would play with the cords on any of the blinds, especially since they were hidden from view.

She left the tot watching Peppa Pig while she went upstairs to grab some clothes for her to wear that day, on June 27, and was gone for no more than four minutes.

She told the presenters about the awful moment when she came back downstairs and realised something was wrong. “I had a quick look around the living room and I couldn’t see her,” she added.

“My house is quite small. It’s a little cottage with really low ceilings, and I had the door closed.

“And my first reaction because I couldn’t see her was ‘Oh someone has taken her.’ That’s the first thing that came into my mind.

“And I thought, ‘No, I locked the door and she was only watching Peppa Pig.’ And that’s when I saw her hanging on the blind cord.”

From March next year new regulations will be introduced, ensuring retailers will be breaking the law if they sell products that do not meet blind safety standards.

You can find out more about Sophia’s Cause via the Facebook site. To sign the petition go to epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/55067

Read more: http://www.gloucestershireecho.co.uk/Mum-takes-Sophia-s-Cause-TV-s-Morning/story-19889184-detail/story.html#ixzz2gwSbcKSS

Loyal keeper of a dying business

 

bl6

The self-made bamboo blind hung in front of Lau Hooi Kee. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily

 

Translated by DOMINIC LOH
Sin Chew Daily

IPOH, Perak — There is a row of old shophouses along Lorong Bijeh Timah off the bridge on Hugh Low Street (Jalan Sultan Iskandar), one of which has been weaving bamboo blinds for almost a hundred years, witnessing its own transition from prosperity during the olden days to its subsequent decline.

Although the bamboo blind industry is quickly losing its appeal in recent years, the operator of this business remains loyal to the traditional trade.

There are not many shops still shielding their business premises from the scorching sun with bamboo blinds nowadays. To catch one, you may need to walk into the old streets lined with pre-war shophouses.

When approached by Sin Chew Daily, the septuagenarian owner of this shop was seen sitting alone in front of his shop flipping newspapers.

Rolls of bamboo blinds taller in height than an ordinary man’s are laid in front of the shop, along with some tools and a trishaw used to ferry the products.

Lau Chee Wah, the 76-year-old owner of Lau Hooi Kee, is the third generation operator of this dying business. With hardly any young people interested in inheriting this business from him and with the bamboo and wooden blind markets fast dwindling, Lau has been solitarily struggling to keep the antiquated industry afloat all these years.

Very few would ask for bamboo or wooden blinds these years although they were a necessity for all businesses during the olden days to shield the shops from the sultry heat of the sun while advertising their businesses on them.

Hardly seen elsewhere, these bamboo blinds can still be spotted today in the Old Town and some older neighbourhoods in Ipoh, albeit appearing worn out by the passing of time.

Lau told Sin Chew Daily this business was initiated by his grandfather almost a century ago, adding that both his grandfather and father were masters of this art.

Lau started helping out at the shop as apprentice in his teens, and having later commanded the skills of making the blinds, he became the natural heir to the family business. Today, Lau is still insistent on carrying out this business despite poor prospects for his products.

“We saw the prime of this industry but not many would look for bamboo blinds nowadays. I would only start work if there is a customer order. As for the rest of the time I would be left with nothing to do.”

Lau said his was the only shop still making bamboo blinds in the town of Ipoh and most of his customers are Malays which is peculiar as Chinese businessmen have long given up bamboo blinds.

Sold by area, each square foot used to cost only RM2 in the past but is now at least RM7.

“There are many alternatives available in the market and bamboo blinds are no longer the only option. As a result, we cannot sell them too expensively or no one would want them.”

He also said it would take at least two to three days to complete one set of bamboo blinds, including weaving, painting, etc.

As bamboo blind making involves a lot of work and the margin is thin, hardly anyone is keen to pick up this skill, which is poised to be wiped out by time eventually.

 

http://mysinchew.com/node/89796?tid=102