Mum’s warning to parents after her daughter was almost strangled to death by a common household fixture: ‘I felt sick to my stomach’
- Mum found out her daughter was playing with blind cords
- The cords caused bruises to the child’s neck
- She reminded parents to secure blind and curtain strings
A mum has warned parents to be careful with kids around blinds after her child came close to choking herself on a pull cord.
Emily shared her story with parents group Tiny Hearts Education saying her daughter Ava was ‘messing’ with blind strings and wrapping them around her neck.
She hadn’t noticed Ava playing with the strings and while she wasn’t stuck or in any distress, the cords caused bruises on her neck and could have come close to choking her.
‘I don’t even want to think what could’ve happened. I’m just so grateful she’s okay,’ Emily said on Instagram.
Tiny Hearts founder and former paramedic Nikki Jurcutz said the scary incident was a reminder for parents to secure curtain and blind cords.
Mum Emily has issued a warning to parents after her daughter, Ava, suffered bruises to her neck from playing with blind cords. She said she could have accidentally choked herself
‘Ava was playing on the porch yesterday and was messing with the blind strings. She said she wrapped it around her neck and then tried to get out without unwrapping it,’ Emily explained.
‘She wasn’t stuck, was able to breathe, talk and was never in distress.’
Ava told her mum what she had been doing with the blind strings after someone noticed the marks on her neck which Emily said gave her ‘the worst mum guilt’.
‘I was an absolute mess when I found out what happened later on. She never told me what she did, just mentioned later on that her neck hurt and I didn’t think twice about it.’
‘All strings are wrapped up now and we will be buying blinds that don’t have strings.’
Emily said she hugged ava extra tight and was so scared she was ‘sick to her stomach’ thinking about what could have happened.
She hadn’t noticed Ava playing with the strings and while she wasn’t stuck or in any distress, the cords caused bruises on her neck
Nikki Jurcutz of Tiny Hearts Education said unsecured blind and curtain cords claim the lives or one to two Australian children each year from accidental strangulation
‘I just want parents to be aware of how quick something like this can happen since it’s not something that most people think about,’ she said.
Nikki said unsecured blind and curtain cords claim the lives or one to two Australian children each year from accidental strangulation.
Victoria offers free curtain and blind cord safety kits and there are mandatory Australia-wide standards for internal window coverings to prevent such tragedies.
According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission loose cords can be extreme dangerous as young children can quickly tangle themselves or loop the strings around their neck.
It is important parent make sure cots, beds, highchairs and playpens are placed far from blind and curtain cords so they are inaccessible to children at all times.
Cords should be secured and out of reach of children who can also climb in furniture like couches and chairs near windows with blinds or curtains.
How to make sure your blind and curtain cords are safe
1. When installing new blinds and curtains, make sure you or the installer secure any loose or looped cords—do not leave them hanging down.
2. Go through every room in your home and check for any blinds or curtains with long cords that are either loose or looped. Remember, this includes any cords that are within children’s reach at floor level or near furniture they can climb on.
3. Do not put children’s cots, beds, highchairs or playpens near a window where children can reach blind or curtain cords. The cords can become tangled around children’s necks and strangle them.
4. Do not place sofas, chairs, tables, shelves or bookcases near windows with corded blinds or curtains. As young children like to climb onto furniture to look out the window, they may quickly become entangled in the cords, lose their footing, and suffer strangulation or serious injuries.
5. Accidental strangulation can happen very quickly, so never leave children alone in rooms where cords are unsecured if you’re visiting someone’s home, even for a short while.
6. Some blinds can’t operate properly without looped cords. To keep them out of children’s reach you should secure these cords with either:
- tie-downs (cleats), or
- tension devices that enclose cords and chain loops.
7. Always fix tie-downs and tension devices firmly to the wall or window-frame so a child is not able to remove them. Never use materials that can’t support a significant load, such as double-sided tape or glue.
8. Consider replacing corded blinds and curtains with cordless alternatives. There are safer designs of window coverings available for most applications.
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