Cots & cords don't mix: Keep cots away from blind, curtain and electrical cords

Published: 
3 Sep 2014

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.

    More information on checking for home hazards and unsafe products for babies is in the ACCC's Keeping baby safe guide.

    Blind and curtain cords

    Babies have died from being strangled in blind or curtain cords they accessed in their cots. Every year, 1-2 Australian children die from blind or curtain cords and many others are hospitalised.

    What to do:

    Avoid using corded blinds and curtains in nurseries. If you can't avoid corded blinds and/or curtains:

    • Make sure babies' cots are away from windows where babies can reach the blind or curtain cords.
    • Secure the cords well out of baby’s reach. You can get tie-downs and tension devices from hardware or window furnishing stores.
    • If you are living in a rental property, seek help from your landlord or agent to ensure cords and chains are out of reach.

    Blind and curtain cords can pose strangulation risks to children beyond infancy and cot sleeping. See our alert Staying safe with blind and curtain cords for more information on what you can do at home to keep kids safe from blind and curtain cord hazards.

    Electrical cords

    Babies overseas have died from being strangled in electrical cords they found near their cots. In 2013, Ikea Smila wall lamps and certain Angelcare Baby Monitors were recalled in Australia to prevent babies being strangled in the electrical cords attached to these products.

    What to do:

    • Keep products with electrical cords – such as lamps and monitors – well away from babies' cots.
    • For products that are intended to be used with cots, follow installation instructions carefully. Secure any cords out of baby’s reach by tying them to the cot frame, floor or wall.
    • If you have an Ikea Smila wall lamp, check the lamp and cord are out of baby’s reach. Contact Ikea for a free repair kit to fasten the cord to the wall.
    • If you have an Angelcare Baby Monitor with Movement Sensing Function, check that the cords are out of baby’s reach. You can register to get a free Angelcare cord cover kit and watch a video with fixing instructions on the distributor's website.