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Thread: Why Are Loop Cord Blinds Still Killing Children ?

  1. #1
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    Default Why Are Loop Cord Blinds Still Killing Children ?

    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.

    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
    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 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.

    http://www.windowblindsafety.ie/wind...s-to-children/

    http://www.rte.ie/news/2011/0923/reganrusseld.html

    http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakin...st-521780.html

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...hemselves.html

    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.

    http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09329.html

    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 -
    • 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.
    NSAI
    Last edited by C. Flower; 24-09-2011 at 08:42 AM. Reason: NSAI, cord loop blinds, blind cords, safety

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Why Are Loop Cord Blinds Still Killing Children ?

    In Australia, they have supplied free safety kits - there's a little one minute video on how to use them.

    http://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/CA256...60-Order+a+fre

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Why Are Loop Cord Blinds Still Killing Children ?

    New advice / guidelines being reported on RTE News.

    Why did it take so long ?

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    Default Re: Why Are Loop Cord Blinds Still Killing Children ?

    NSAI have produced two new standards - voluntary - they say - but as yet I can't find them on the NSAI website.

    The two standards that have been published are:


    • I.S. 386: Safety of corded window products; Guidance for procurement, measuring, manufacturing, installation and retrofitting. This standard provides guidance to those that may be involved in the purchasing of internal window blinds, such as government agencies, childcare centres, schools, libraries, wholesalers, retailers, installers and consumers. It provides guidance on the safe use of the products and also for retrofitting to make existing blinds safe.
    • I.S. 387: Internal Corded Window Products – Safety Requirements. This standard specifies the safety requirements for internal corded window products (blinds and draperies with accessible cord, chain, ball-chain or similar). It applies to honeycomb and pleated blinds, free hanging, guided and laterally moving; roman shades; Austrian blinds / festoon blinds; panel blinds; plantation shutters; roll-up blinds and draperies.

    http://www.nsai.ie/Special-Pages/New...Protect-C.aspx

    The standards are voluntary. The EU standards are being revised.

    These devices were banned 10 years ago in the States. I'm not sure how many children have died in that time in Europe but it must be dozens.

    Neither am I sure that the suggestion that Ireland could not have banned them is correct.
    Last edited by C. Flower; 17-08-2012 at 07:29 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Why Are Loop Cord Blinds Still Killing Children ?

    Found on Irish Oifigil
    IRISH STANDARD SPECIFICATIONS
    (I.S. 386:2012 AND I.S. 387:2012)
    NSAI, in exercise of the power conferred by Section 16(3) of
    the National Standards Authority of Ireland Act 1996 (No. 28
    of 1996) and with the consent of the Minister for Jobs,
    Enterprise and Innovation, has declared the following
    specifications to be Standard Specifications:
    I.S. 386:2012, Safety of corded window products — Guidance
    for procurement, measuring, manufacture, installation and
    retrofitting.
    I.S. 387:2012, Internal corded window products — Safety
    requirements.
    Copies of Irish Standards may be purchased by contacting:
    NATIONAL STANDARDS AUTHORITY OF IRELAND,
    1 Swift Square,
    Northwood,
    Santry,
    Dublin 9.
    Tel: (01) 857 6730; (01) 857 6731.
    Fax: (01) 857 6729.
    www.standards.ie
    Why are they not online ? Do they think that every household will write away to buy them?


    The NSAI advises parents of some simple steps that can be taken immediately to remove any potential hazards from existing blinds and help to prevent tragic accidents and fatalities in the home:

    • Cords ending in a loop are particularly risky. If possible, 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 should be used to pull the cord tight and secure it to the floor or wall.
    • Never place a child’s cot, bed, playpen or high chair near a window or patio door where a child could 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;


    “NSAI is currently undertaking a number of proactive steps to ensure that Irish manufacturers and suppliers of window blinds are made aware of the current revised standard.” Mr Buckley said.
    Last edited by C. Flower; 16-08-2012 at 10:25 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Why Are Loop Cord Blinds Still Killing Children ?

    The brave mother of a child who died by choking from a window blind cord just before Christmas is speaking on "Talk to Joe" telling parents to go and check blind cords.

    We are still not doing anything systematic to advise and ensure that parents and other child minders do what is necessary to make blinds safe.

    If you can't trust yourself to manage this, stick to curtains.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: Why Are Loop Cord Blinds Still Killing Children ?

    Another tragic death of a 1 year old child. Calling these deaths '***** accidents' is anything but helpful. They are entirely predictable and avoidable.
    https://www.msn.com/en-ie/news/newsi...A?ocid=OLCONOB
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  8. #8

    Default Re: Why Are Loop Cord Blinds Still Killing Children ?

    Well, one of these is supplied with them from the manufacturer.



    Unfortunately, they're seldomly installed.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Why Are Loop Cord Blinds Still Killing Children ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Danger View Post
    Well, one of these is supplied with them from the manufacturer.



    Unfortunately, they're seldomly installed.
    I don't know if this is in any way relevant to the people whose child died. My view is that they should be banned (cord loops) as they are not necessary.

    When people are in rented property, they may never have seen any warnings or kits, or may have put the blinds up years before they had kids, and forgotten. They are a completely unnecessary product that has a track record of killing infants and small children.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  10. #10

    Default Re: Why Are Loop Cord Blinds Still Killing Children ?

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    I don't know if this is in any way relevant to the people whose child died. My view is that they should be banned (cord loops) as they are not necessary.

    When people are in rented property, they may never have seen any warnings or kits, or may have put the blinds up years before they had kids, and forgotten. They are a completely unnecessary product that has a track record of killing infants and small children.
    Would you consider that, were such a device in place, that perhaps lives could've been saved?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Why Are Loop Cord Blinds Still Killing Children ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Danger View Post
    Would you consider that, were such a device in place, that perhaps lives could've been saved?
    I started this thread in 2011 and at that point these loops had already been banned in the US for 10 years.

    The fiddly little device is open to being fitted wrongly - not tight enough - and the loops aren't necessary. The device in my view comes under the heading of 'better, in some cases, than nothing'. It may prevent some deaths, but until the loops are removed, children will carry on dying.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  12. #12

    Default Re: Why Are Loop Cord Blinds Still Killing Children ?

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    I started this thread in 2011 and at that point these loops had already been banned in the US for 10 years.

    The fiddly little device is open to being fitted wrongly - not tight enough - and the loops aren't necessary. The device in my view comes under the heading of 'better, in some cases, than nothing'. It may prevent some deaths, but until the loops are removed, children will carry on dying.
    I do completely understand, and fully agree that the loop style cords should be outlawed, but there will be legacy hold overs, and my position is that this little inexpensive device could go a long way towards saving lives if it were installed on those blinds that are already in place.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Why Are Loop Cord Blinds Still Killing Children ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Danger View Post
    I do completely understand, and fully agree that the loop style cords should be outlawed, but there will be legacy hold overs, and my position is that this little inexpensive device could go a long way towards saving lives if it were installed on those blinds that are already in place.
    Well, that was the view of the EU a few years back when they failed to join Canada, the US and a number of other states in banning them and recalling them.

    NSAI advice, Ireland, is that cutting the loop is preferable -

    Where cords cannot be cut, a tie-down or tension device should be used to pull the cord tight and secure it to the floor or wall.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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