THE danger of children being strangled by the cords on window blinds is being highlighted in a new campaign which is being backed by East Dunbartonshire Council.
It is getting behind the national Royal Society for the Prevention of Accident’s (RoSPA) Make it Safe initiative, which aims to reduce the risk of toddlers and young children being accidentally injured or killed by looped cords.
In a bid to reach as many people as possible council staff will co-ordinate their efforts with Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service, and Care and Repair, a national organisation that works to improve the housing and living conditions of older and disabled people.
The council is giving away 3000 free safety packs to families in the area which include a cleat (around which operating cords can be tied up out of the reach of young children), an information leaflet and a warning tag.
Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service has already handed out safety packs during home safety visits and local nurseries have distributed some to parents of young children. Council officers will be offering advice to parents and safety packs at Fire Station open days and the Canal Festival on August 28.
Tragically there have been at least 16 blind cord deaths in the UK since 1999 and RoSPA suspects that there have been many more near misses. Parents are being advised to tie blind cords up out the reach of children, never put a child’s cot, bed, playpen or highchair near a window and where possible buy blinds that don’t have cords or chains.
Jennifer Henderson, RoSPA Scotland’s home safety officer, said: “The increasing popularity of this scheme is very encouraging. We only hope it gains more and more momentum across Scotland so that as may families as possible gain access to the free advice and devices that could ultimately help to save their child’s life.”
Councillor Amanda Stewart, EDC’s convener of housing and community services, said: “I am really pleased East Dunbartonshire Council is backing this campaign.
“Parents only need to make simple, minor adjustments in their homes to make it safer for their toddlers. Alongside our partners we hope this campaign prevents an avoidable tragedy.”
For details, contact Abigail Boulstridge, project development assistant, on 0141 5745772 or e-mail Abigail.firstname.lastname@example.org