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OPSS Blind Cord Safety Campaign

The UK's safeguarding children boards welcomed new safety rules for window blind and cords. They expressed how the new standards could prevent future child deaths.

Information in this guide explains some of the simple steps you can take to keep looped blind cords and chains out of reach for babies and young children.

British Blind and Shutter Association (BBSA)

Statistics from recent studies conducted by RoSPA are alarming and window blind safety regulations needed toughening up.

In fact, figures show that two children may die of choking entanglement on bedroom blind cords every year in the United Kingdom.

The British Blind and Shutter Association continue with their relentless campaign to bring about new safety standards.

New standards include cord and chain length limitations, as well as clear product warnings. There also needs to be extra package information issued by the manufacturer.

Furthermore, new safety devices will be available to upgrade existing window blinds that contain cords. These new requirements and child safety guidelines in the use of blinds are vital.

And the outcome…

The aim of the current OPSS blind cord safety campaign is to remind all parents and carers about the dangers of looped blind cords and chains in the home.

It should be part of every parent’s household child proofing process. So, always check window blinds and cord lengths, especially if you move home or stay somewhere unfamiliar.

Are Your Internal Blinds Safe?

The current thrust from the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) reminds people about the potential dangers and how to reduce the risks.

So, what are the safety messages?

The main threat to children from looped blind cords and chains is strangulation. Some changes to the standards for blinds took full effect in 2014.

Note: Some early installations may lack sufficient safety features. OPSS and partners have produced some basic safety tips on how to make your home safer.

Window Blind Fatalities Reduced by New Safety Regulations in the United KingdomFitting Tidies and Tensioners

  • Fit a tidy, tensioner, or cleat. Fixing it firmly to an adjoining surface will ensure that it holds the cord or chain tight.
  • Position cleats out of the reach of young children, on an adjacent surface, and measuring a minimum of 1.5 metres up from the floor.
  • Fasten up all cords in a figure of eight after using a blind. Remember to secure any spare cord on the cleat.

Moving Furniture Away from the Windows

  • When you move large household furniture away from windows it deters children from climbing on it. As a rule, this will include things like beds, cots, play pens, and highchairs.

Fatal Blind Cords and Chains

Looped blind cords can be fatal. Fit a safety device or make sure they are out of reach for small children. Window blind safety devices are inexpensive and easy to apply. You can buy them online or at your local DIY center.

Local Safeguarding Children Boards

What is the primary role of the Local Safeguarding Children Board? Your Local Safeguarding Children Board is a multi-agency body. They play a strategic role in protecting children and mobile toddlers.

There is a branch set up in every local authority. The Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) is set up by the council authority in your area.

Each LSCB has an independent Chair, meaning they are not working for social services. Instead, the Chair works closely with the Director of Children’s Services.

Related News Articles and Help Guides

Articles on Health and Safety: Get the latest news stories about health regulations and safety laws.
Child and Baby Articles: All the latest rules headlines about the regulations of children and babies.
Fire Safety for Kids: Show your children how serious you are about fire prevention.
Occupational Health and Safety Regulations: Check how the rules affect workers in the United Kingdom.
Safety Rules for Builders: New Construction Design and Management regulations for the UK.

Note: The short video, presented by the British Blind and Shutter Association, contains some handy tips about making sure your blinds are safe for children and pets.

Window Blind Fatalities Reduced by New Safety Regulations in United Kingdom