The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is leading a nation-wide campaign to check and fix dangerous blind and curtain cords after two infants were strangled by cords earlier this year.
"The ACCC and state and territory consumer regulators are working together to raise awareness of the potential hazard loose curtain and blind cords pose," ACCC deputy chairman, Peter Kell, announced today.
Loose curtain and blind cords become a hazard for children as they may play with them, become tangled and be unable to release themselves to prevent choking.
"It is alarming that 15 tragedies relating to blind and curtain cords have taken place in Australia since the early 1990s - sadly some have been as recent as August and October this year.
"Our message is simple: loose blind and curtain cords can kill. Fix them out of reach, so kids are out of danger," Mr Kell said. "We are urging curtain and blind suppliers, landlords, housing providers and community groups to assist in raising awareness about this important issue.
"I am pleased to see that some of these organisations and community groups have already agreed to support this campaign."
Mr Kell strongly advised all Australians to follow four key steps to ensure that blind and curtain cords do not pose a threat to children:
- Check that your blind and curtain cords are out of reach of children, even when you're away on holidays.
- Secure loose cords out of reach by using cleats or tensioning devices from a hardware or curtain and blind shop.
- Choose safe blinds and curtains by making sure that new curtains and blinds have warning labels and provide a way to secure cords/chains out of reach.
- Keep children away from all cords and chains.
More information is available at www.accc.gov.au/blindandcurtainsafety
Ms Lin Enright, Media, (02) 6243 1108 or 0414 613 520
Release # NR 304/09
Infocentre 1300 302 502