The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is urging parents and carers to tie-up loose blind and curtain cords as a part of an international safety push.
Strangulation accidents involving unsecured blind or curtain cords claim the lives of one or two Australian children every year—at least 21 deaths since 2001.
Accidents can occur when cords dangle into or near cots or when children climb on furniture or play near windows. Thankfully, you can easily make your home safer and prevent accidents.
3 steps to blind cord safety
Out of reach
Start by checking every room for blinds or curtains with loose cords. You can tie them up using cleats—you can buy a couple of cleats from the hardware store for about $4.
Some blinds can’t operate properly without looped cords. To keep them out of reach you should secure them with either tie-downs or tension devices that enclose cords and chain loops. They cost around $5.
Rearrange the furniture
The next step might involve shuffling and rearranging some furniture. Don’t put children’s cots, beds, highchairs or playpens near a window where children can reach blind or curtain cords.
When installing new blinds and curtains, make sure you or the installer secure any loose or looped cords—don’t leave them dangling down. In Australia, when you buy blinds they must come with a warning label and safety features to keep cords secured. Make sure you follow the installation instructions.