Australian homes often feature blinds, curtains and other window coverings that have cords. Using the cords, a person can raise, lower, open or close the blinds or curtains.
Blind and curtain cords can present a strangulation hazard to children, as they may become entangled in them while trying to use, play with or play around window coverings. Even with raised coverings, children can climb onto window sills or furniture and access the cords. Cords can also strangle infants sleeping or playing in cots placed near windows where cords are within reach or hanging into cots.
Because loose cords can very quickly tangle around a child’s neck and cause strangulation, we advise consumers to check their window furnishings and fix all dangerous cords out of children’s reach. Parents and carers should keep their children away from all cords.
The mandatory standard for internal blinds, curtains and window fittings (corded internal window coverings) was declared on 8 July 2010 and applies to relevant blinds, curtains and some fittings supplied after 30 December 2010. The mandatory standard that deals with the installation services of window coverings was made on 28 March 2014. This regulation commences on 1 January 2015 - the new requirements do not apply until that date.
Loose or looped cords near cots can accidentally strangle and kill small children. Babies have died from being strangled in blind, curtain and electrical cords they accessed in their cots. There are simple steps you can take when preparing baby's sleep area to make sure it's safe from these hazards.