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‘A child can die within 50 seconds of becoming entangled in a window blind cord’

In the past four years, three children in Ireland and 12 in the UK have died as a result of window blind cords.

Image: Window blind via Shutterstock

IN THE PAST four years, three children in Ireland and 12 in the UK have lost their lives after becoming entangled in a window blind cord.

“It takes 10 seconds for a child to lose consciousness and they can die within 50 seconds of becoming entangled in a cord,” says Aaron O’Connell owner of the website WindowBlindSafety.ie.

With over 25 years experience in the window blind industry, he set up the website to educate people about the dangers of blind cords and how easily they can kill children.

O’Connell has dedicated the website to two-year-old Arran Malley, who on 4 February 2009, was killed after playing in his brothers room with an unsecured window blind cord.

“No child should die like Arran,” said O’Connell.

“Near-misses can also be devastating and can cause serious brain damage in a child. Those who have managed to save a child are very, very lucky,” O’Connell said.

O’Connell blames window blind companies for neglecting to make the blinds safe and for not informing consumers about the dangers.

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“We haven’t had one government prosecution of any window blind company since the deaths,” said O’Connell. “The industry needs to be policed”.

O’Connell is also surprised by the “lack of interest” in the area of window blind safety in Ireland. He has offered to give free clinics, but no groups have so far taken him up on the offer.

My website has been accessed in over 150 countries and it spikes when there is a tragedy but peters off again after that.

Window blind safety tips:

  • Keep all cords and chains out of reach of children.
  • Make sure that a safety device is fitted to keep the cords taut or out of reach.
  • You can cut the blind cord to get rid of the loop and install tassels.
  • Replace cords with curtain or blind wands.

Read: Boy (3) dies in blind cord accident in Co Down>

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