Window blinds and child safety
This information provided is intended as a guide only. You should contact your supplier with any queries regarding the safety of your blinds.
Your home should be a place where your children are safe and protected, but there is a hidden danger in many Irish homes.
The cords and chains of window blinds and curtains can pose a serious risk. Young children, particularly under the age of three, can strangle in the loop of cords and chains from window blinds and curtains.
Since 2005 in Ireland, 5 small children have died from strangulation caused by loose cords and chains from window blinds.
- Move beds, cots and furniture away from windows.
- Keep cords and chains out of reach of children - cords should end at least 1.6 metres above the ground.
- Make your existing blinds or curtains safe - try to get rid of cords ending in a loop – learn how easy it is by watching our video above. Ask your local hardware store if they stock any of the safety items featured in our video.
- Choose new blinds or curtains carefully – there are now many options available that don’t have cords or chains.
- Ask the shop if the blind meets the new safety standard EN 13120:2009+A1:2014.
- Check to see if a warning notice is on the blind.
- Check that the blind includes a safety device for keeping the cord out of the reach of children and that the safety device meets the new safety standards EN 16433:2014 and EN 16434:2014.
- Check that written instructions for assembly, installation, use and maintenance are provided, and follow them if you are installing the blind yourself.
Further information of the new safety standards is available from the NSAI
A word of caution
These tips should help to protect your child from possible serious harm. You should be aware that all risks cannot be eliminated. Parents and others should always keep window blind cords and chains out of the reach of children and follow the safety instructions.
Using safety devices may reduce the risk of a child being strangled but nothing can be considered risk proof.