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According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), there have been 33 children who have died since 2001 because of blind cords. Two million homes in the UK have old-style blinds. Since 2004, RoSPA has called upon the blind industry to take voluntary action to reduce the risk of looped cords and has been working with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), CEN (the European Committee for Standardisation) and the British Blind and Shutter Association (BBSA) to investigate design modifications and raise awareness of the safety issues.
According to the research, 4 in 5 parents and grandparents have blinds in their home. This is despite the fact that 1 in 5 people surveyed know a child who has been in an accident relating to blind cords. Blind cords tend to be in the kitchen or adult’s bedroom, according to the survey – however, 35% of people, over two thirds, admitted that they have blinds in their child or grandchild’s bedroom. Almost 4 in 10 (39%) of those who have blinds in their child’s room have looped cords, and 24% have a looped chain: these cords pose the worst risk to children.
Aston spoke to Ashley Martin, public health project manager at RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) to discuss the research in more detail and give suggestions to parents and grandparents on how best to safeguard their homes – especially in the case of old style blinds.