Window blinds are a beautiful addition to your home and are becoming increasingly popular and preferred among many families in the UK. Many types of blinds operate with cords or chains and if you don’t take the right safety measures, they can pose a big risk to the safety and life of your children, especially those between the age of one and three years.
Children are known to be curious and like to explore and try everything. Things like cords and chains will attract their attention and they will keep trying until they find their own way to reach them, not knowing that they can be trapped and tangled very easily in them. The statistics have shown that one child is strangled in window cords every two weeks. Most of these accidental deaths happen in the child’s bedroom and occur to children between 16 months and 36 months old. The statistics also points out that the deaths are silent, the children were unable to cry for help. In 85 percent of the documented cases, parents were at home at the time of the incident.
These repeated incidents pushed the child safety legislation, which states that all blinds produced and sold after February 2014 must comply with detailed child safety requirements.
If your blinds are installed before 2014, there’s a big chance that they don’t comply with necessary safety measures. Making your blinds safe for your little one is very easy, cheap and requires little time.
What can you do?
The first step is to go around you house and examine every single blind in your home to see if there are any loose cords or chains with no fitted safety devices.
You also have to move all furniture, including cots, cribs, and beds away from windows and blinds to ensure that the cords and chains are way out of their reach. Remember, children can climb anything very easily.
Now let’s talk about available safety devices.
Cordless blinds: These types of blinds offer the same beautiful look of classic blinds but with different operating mechanism. They work simply by pulling the blind down instead of using a cord or a chain. They are considered to be child-safe and will put your mind at peace when the little ones are about. Cordless blinds can also be motorised. The blind will then operate by the single touch of a button using a remote control.
The Perfect Fit blinds are also considered to be cordless. This type clicks in place between the bedding and glass of your window, and operates with either a tab or a wand. Vertical Blinds also operate with a wand, making them another safe option for your child.
Child safety devices: There are many accessories that you can fit to your existing or new blinds to make them as safe as possible for your children. Here are some examples:
- Breakaway Connectors
Breakaway chain connectors can be applied to the chain of a blind. With this type of safety device, if more pressure than necessary to operate the blind is applied to the chain, the connector will break apart. To reconnect the device, it simply clicks onto the chain again for easy-use.
- Blind Cleat
A cleat can be used to neatly tidy away the cord for a blind, keeping it out of reach of any children. The cleat is attached to the wall at a height above 150 cm from the floor and the cord can be wrapped around it in a figure of eight motion.
- Cord Stops
A cord stop can be found on Venetian blinds and Roman Blinds and much like the breakaway connector, it starts to work when unnecessary pressure is applied to the cord. To reconnect the device, simply place the cords back between the cord stop and click them shut.
A chain tensioner, like the cleat, is another form of safety device that is attached to the wall. The idea is that it keeps the blind chain anchored to the wall, which prevents any risk to children. This also prevents chain and cords becoming tangled and stops them flapping in the wind.
Always remember that the chains and cords used to operate a blind should be anchored down no lower than 150 cm from the floor to prevent any risk to children.
Give us a call and we’ll help you find the best accessories and measures to make your blinds safe for your children.