There was a sad inquest yesterday, of a two year old child killed by getting his head stuck in the loop of a window blind cord.
There have been 15 such deaths in Ireland alone since 2005 from this device.
They have been banned in many countries and standards are in place there - there is no need to "develop" special Irish standards. Irish toddlers are made just the same way as Australian, Canadian and US ones.The Dublin City Coroner Dr Brian Farrell said the looped cord on blinds had caused the death of several infants in Dublin and elsewhere.
He said this clearly was a dangerous design and that it should be modified with the cord separated into two lengths.
He said it was sad and tragic to see that these blinds were still available.
Dr Farrell said that although he had done so before he would write to the relevant authorities again to reiterate his concerns and recommendations.
He recorded a verdict of accidental death.
Responding to calls for a ban on the blinds, the National Standards Authority of Ireland say it is difficult to ban such blinds but that new standards were being developed
The NSAI website on window safety is colourful but not illustrated. In the small print, it says that there is a EU standard which requires new blinds to be supplied with safety kits.
It is not clear why they can't be banned - it may well be the case that EU regulations prevent us from going beyond the EU Regulation and banning, but that is not made clear.
There seems to have been no public information campaign by Government on this.
In many countries they are not allowed (banned and recalled 10 years ago, in the US) but they are still be sold in Ireland. In any event, there are many of them will be in our homes and other buildings for years.
Go and check your blinds now!
If you have old ones and can't replace them at present, the loop can be cut.
They were banned and recalled in the US 10 years ago.
Some US safety advice here - firstly if possible, don't buy these blinds - use curtains or blinds without loops.
If you're stuck with them -
NSAI• Never put a cot, bed, high chair or playpen near a window or patio door where a child can reach a curtain or blind cord.
• Keep sofas, chairs, tables, shelves or bookcases away from windows to prevent children climbing up and reaching curtain or blind cords.
• Cords ending in a loop are particularly risky. Cut the cord to get rid of the loop and install tassels.
• Cords should end at least 1.6 metres above the ground so children cannot reach them. Replace cords with curtain or blind wands.
• Where cords cannot be cut, a tie down or tension device can be used to pull the cord tight and secure it to the floor or wall.