Prevent children being injured

Published: 
28 Jan 2010

Minister for Consumer Affairs Tony Robinson today launched a statewide safety campaign to educate consumers and traders about the childhood strangulation risk associated with blind and curtain cords.

 

Curtain cords can be a safety risk as they can form a loop and get tangled around the child’s neck,” Mr Robinson said.

 

Unsafe curtain and blind cords have contributed to numerous child deaths, near misses and serious injuries both in Australia and overseas.

 

“There are cases where toddlers become entangled in blind and curtain cords but have luckily been discovered in time, but tragically sometimes it is too late,” Minister Robinson said.

 

The Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) sees the toddlers involved in these types of accidents and the consequences of being entangled in curtain and blind cords is very serious.

 

The Director of Emergency Medicine at the RCH Dr Simon Young, said the severity of injury caused by blind and curtain cords can be horrific, therefore prevention is the only answer.

 

“It doesn’t take much to ensure your blinds and curtains are safe, knowing you may save a child’s life as a result,” he said.

 

Eight coronial reports involving deaths of children by curtain and blind cords took place between 2000 -2008.

 

In December 2008, mandatory standards were established requiring all new curtain and blind cords installed in Victoria to have safety features to prevent the strangulation risk associated with looped cords.

 

“I encourage all parents to request a free safety kit from Consumer Affairs Victoria, to help make their curtain and blind cords safe,” Mr Robinson said.

 

“We are also encouraging relevant organisations, such as local councils, schools, childcare centres, hospital maternity wards, kindergartens, curtain and blind retailers, hardware stores and real estate agents to spread the message about unsafe cords.

 

"By law newer blinds and curtains are required to comply with the mandatory safety standard, however there are many blinds and curtains that were made before these standards came into effect. Please be vigilant and check your home.

 

“It is important to understand the risks and make sure there are no exposed loops hanging down in your home, to prevent any serious injury or deaths from occurring in the future," Mr Robinson said.

For more information or to request a free safety kit – visit www.consumer.vic.gov.au or
call 1300 55 81 81.

Contact details

Media inquiries

Haifa Majdali, Media Adviser, ph: 8684 8339

Consumer Affairs (VIC)
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