When I first had children, I was really concerned that the windows in their bedroom could be opened wide. This was fixed very simply by fitting window stops that prevented them opening wide enough to fall out if they climbed onto the window ledge or leaned out too far. There have been cases in care homes and hospitals where people have fallen to their death. Another situation where this must be considered is hotels and similar accommodation, particularly if guests are drinking.
The other issue was looped cords on blinds. Having personally known someone who lost a child through strangulation due to a cord I knew it was very important to change them to make sure they were safe. Deaths have occurred mainly in 18 to 36-month-old children and mainly in the bedroom.
The law requires that all new blinds including roller, pleated, roman, vertical and Venetian blinds are ‘safe by design’. This means that safety device must be installed at the point of the manufacture. These either allow the cord(s) to be stored out of reach or they break under pressure or tension the cord.
Professional installers must fit safety devices. If you have fitted blinds yourself you should follow the instructions supplied with the product and make sure you fit a safety device. This will not apply to most businesses but nurseries and nursery schools, childminders and care providers must be aware and take action.
There are other areas where strangulation has occurred have been due to scarfs, ropes in play areas, the cords of spare linen bags over the end of cots, have been linked to deaths,
So; don’t use cords if possible, if you have to, keep cords short, keep them up high, don’t put beds or cots near windows, don’t put drawstring bags over the end of the cot and SUPERVISE at all times.