Free blind cleats to avoid summer holiday tragedies


Parents are being warned about the danger of blind cords, as children are playing at home in the summer holidays.

Lincolnshire County Council is providing free blind cleats to reduce the risk of death or injury.

Research by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) shows that there have been at least 29 deaths due to looped blind cords since 1999, 15 since 2010. As recently as April this year, a two-year-old from North-East England died after she got stuck in the cord of a tangled window blind which strangled her, while she played hide and seek with her older brother.

Senior specialty registrar in public health Helene Denness said: “Over one million children are taken to accident and emergency after accidents in or around the home each year. Often tragic accidents occur through play when it comes to blind cords – that risk may be greater during the summer holidays when children are playing at home.

“Our advice to parents is to only install blinds that are safe by design, such as a cordless blind or ones with a concealed or tensioned cord. But if you live in Lincolnshire and do have blinds with a cord, the county council offers free blind cleats to keep the hanging wire out of the way of little ones.”

The advice from ROSPA:

Install blinds that do not have a cord, particularly in a child’s bedroom

Do not place a child’s cot, bed, playpen or highchair near a window

Pull cords on curtains and blinds should be kept short and kept out of reach

Tie up the cords or use one of the many cleats, cord tidies, clips or ties that are available

Do not hang toys or objects that could be a hazard on the cot or bed

Don’t hang drawstring bags where a small child could get their head through the loop of the drawstring.

The free cleats are available by filling a form on the county council website.