POLICE IN NORTHERN Ireland are investigating the death of a three-year-old boy after he became entangled in a blind cord over the weekend.
The incident happened in the Mayobridge area near of Newry, Co Down, on Saturday evening, shortly after 6pm.
BBC News have named the boy as Daniel Grant and police say they are not treating his death as suspicious.
According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, there have been at least 26 deaths across the UK since 1999, 13 of which have occurred since the start of 2010.
There are no exact figures for Ireland, but a spokesperson for the National Standards Authority of Ireland believes around three children have died as a result of blind cord asphyxiation over the last four years.
The NSAI have issued advice on how to make existing window blinds as safe as possible, asking people to cut the cord to get rid of the loop and install tassels. They also advise to replace cords with curtain or blind wands and never place a child’s cot, bed, playpen or high chair near a window or patio door where a blind cord could be reached.
Pushing for new safety standards, website WindowBlindSafety.ie was set up in memory of Arran Malley from Cork who died after becoming entangled in window blind cords in 2009.
Author of the website Aaron O’Connell said it’s “obvious that much more needs to be done to create awareness of the dangers posed by cords and chains in window blinds”.
“A window blind may be considered safe by manufacturers when they make it according to the standards, but it is not child safe unless it is installed in a manner in which the cords and chains are kept out of reach of children, irrespective of whether children are present in the house,” he added.