MP calls for change in blinds after toddler strangled by cord

Newport West MP Paul Flynn wants blind cord safety changes after the death of a toddler in his constituency. Josh Wakeham, 22 months, became entangled as he looked out of his bedroom window in Newport.

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Since the beginning of 2010, 11 toddlers across the UK have died after becoming accidentally entangled in the cord of a blind – 3 since January 2012.

On January 24th 2012 Josh was found dead by his mother who checked on him after putting him to bed for the evening. Recording a verdict of accidental death, Gwent coroner David Bowen said it was “not reasonable” for parents to monitor their children 24 hours a day.

MP Paul Flynn has raised an early day motion in the House of Commons to call on blind manufacturers to bring in safety features. “The case is heart breaking,” said the Newport West MP. “We are calling for laws to reduce the risks of looped cords by placing safety devices in them or by getting rid of them altogether. The industry should bring out safer cords. There’s new regulations coming in from Europe within a year but there will still be a problem with existing cords. We are asking the government to start a campaign to make everyone knows of the dangers.”

After the hearing last month, Michael Corley, spokesman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said they were campaigning to raise awareness of the dangers of roller blinds, saying the nymber of deaths was “far too high”.

He added: “We are calling for laws to reduce the risks of looped cords by placing safety devices in them or by getting rid of them altogether.

Children and blind cord dangers

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Read RoSPA’s article on blind cords and how to reduce the risks to children.

Source: BBC

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