Swim great urges Victorians to make cords safe

17 Feb 2010

Today Minister for Consumer Affairs Tony Robinson and Nicole Livingstone, continued to warn Victorians about the childhood strangulation risk associated with blind and curtain cords.

“Unsafe curtain and blind cords are a hazard in the home, and can easily harm children,” Mr Robinson said.

Ms Livingstone, swimming great and mother of three, echoed the Minister in urging parents to order their free curtain and blind cord safety kit to help protect toddlers and small children from strangulation.

As part of a Victorian safety campaign, Ms Livingstone features in a community service announcement due to air this week on Channel Ten.

“Until it was brought to my attention, I didn't think I fully understood how quickly and easily these tragedies could occur," Ms Livingstone said.

“Having installed the safety kit at home, I now have peace of mind knowing my children are safe from this potential hazard.

"It doesn’t take much to make curtain and blind cords safe - I encourage all parents to request a free safety kit from Consumer Affairs Victoria," she said.

Unsafe curtain and blind cords have contributed to numerous child deaths, near misses and serious injuries both in Australia and overseas, including two deaths in Victoria within two months late last year.

“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 death in the future,” Mr Robinson said.

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

Consumer Affairs Victoria is also encouraging all relevant organisations including 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.

For more information, or to request a free safety kit, visit the Consumer Affairs Victoria website or call 1300 55 81 81.

Contact details

General inquiries

Toy and Nursery Safety Line: 1300 36 48 94

Consumer Affairs Helpline: 1300 55 81 81

Website: www.consumer.vic.gov.au

Consumer Affairs (VIC)