01 December 2010
Window Blind Regulations Need Change to Avoid More Fatal Accidents
As the parent of now adult children, my blood runs cold when I hear about avoidable tragedies that befall some families.
Recently there has been a spate of cases (5 deaths this year alone) involving the cords on window blinds. Children have been strangled for years by getting their necks caught in them. So in America and many other countries the cords must be provided, by law, with a safety device that means the cord will break under pressure.
You wonder why British retailers and Trading Standards don't do something about this. I now know that it's only a matter of time before I read of another case in the papers. A family's life ruined. The ripple of bereavement affecting generations of the same family. All for the lack of a safety device that costs pennies.
I tell all my friends and family with young children about not putting a cot, or bed, or a chair near a window with blinds; and to cut the blind cord so it has two strings instead of the deadly loop which acts like a noose.
Some misguided people complain about the UK having an American style "compensation cuture". At least in America they have a National Safety Organisation which gets things done. When you read about the Coroners who conduct the inquests into these children's deaths each year, you know how frustrated they are too.
My work regularly brings me into contact with bereaved families and frankly the idea of money being "compensation" is the last thing on their mind. What families want above all else is that no one goes through what they have experienced.
I will keep publicising this issue until something is done about it.
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