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Responsible manufacturers and suppliers of window blinds are taking innovative steps to introduce systems which are ideal for homes with small children as they are safe by design, says the British Blind and Shutter Association (BBSA).
Andrew Chalk, Director of Operations at the BBSA, said: “A recent report by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency in Eire, has highlighted specific child safety hazards in 95 pre-schools. Of these 35 were related to the safety of window blinds. It is imperative that the cords and chains of all blinds are checked and made safe in all nurseries, pre-schools and homes. It is simple, quick and cheap to make a blind safer, so don’t delay, make it safe today.”
There are now child safe options of every blind style. These either do not use cords or chains to operate the blind or have concealed or tensioned cords and chains.
But you do not have to wait until you change your blind to make it safer. The BBSA’s Make It Safe website www.makeitsafe.org.uk has a new selection of videos showing how to simply and quickly make roller, vertical, venetian, pleated, and roman blinds safer.
The Make it Safe website also includes a video highlighting what to look for when considering new blinds which shows over a dozen inherently child safe options. For nurseries and other child care facilities there is even the option to download and print a Make it Safe poster in a size suitable for their premises and there is a helpful brochure for parents and carers which is downloadable in 10 languages.
The BBSA’s Make it Safe campaign, which is endorsed by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT), advises parents, grandparents, and carers to:
- Examine every blind in the home, especially in children’s bedrooms. If any have a looped control chain or cord then make sure there is a safety device to keep the cord or chain securely tidied away out of the reach of babies and young 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 or chains (for example a spring operated roller blind) or which has concealed cords.
For more advice on window blind safety consult a BBSA member, see www.makeitsafe.org.uk