Curtains, corded blinds or shades used as window coverings with cords or chains can cause injury and death to toddlers and babies if they get wrapped around their necks.
According to numbers provided by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, between one to two children die in Australian homes annually as a result of corded blinds and curtains.
Nowadays, landlords are legally obliged to keep properties hazard-free, and that includes all corded window covers that are fitted and maintained in accordance with the Australian National Safety Standards (2014).
Keep your kids safe
Do not leave your children unattended around the internal window coverings.
Strangulation can occur when cords are too long and get loose or end in a loop:
- If a child moves quickly, plays with a cord or even if they slip, the cord can act like a noose.
- Babies can reach through crib slats, grab a curtain or blind cord and pull it around their necks.
- Young children can strangle or dangle cords after climbing onto a bed or other pieces of furniture, such as a couch or sofa.
Australia’s National Safety Standards
Australia has two mandatory standards that apply to blind and curtain cord safety.
These safety standards set out the installation and labelling requirements providers must add to when selling and installing corded curtains and blinds.
- A corded internal blinds and curtains must be installed in a way that ensures a loose cord cannot form a loop longer than 22 cm and 1.6mts above floor level.
- The corded internal blind or curtains must be installed following the installation instructions on any retail packaging.
- A cleat used to secure a cord must be installed at least 1.6mts above floor level.
- Be sure that warning labels or swing tags supplied with the internal corded blinds or curtains remain attached to the cord.
- The installer of an internal corded blind or curtain must attach a label to it with the name and contact details of the company or person responsible for the installation.
Is your home a safe place?
Double check these following 5 recommendations to keep your house safe at all times:
- Make sure the installer secure any loose or looped cords. Not let them hang down.
- Fix tie-downs and tension devices firmly to the wall or window frame, so children are not able to remove them. It should be done with materials that can support significant load.
- Do not place furniture near a window where children can reach corded blinds or curtains.
- Walk through your home and inspect every room for blinds or curtains with long cords that are loose or looped, including any cords within children’s reach at floor level or near furniture they can climb on.
- Consider replacing corded blinds and curtains with cordless options.