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Consumers (01-12-2010)

Child safety in the spotlight at International Product Safety Week

On 2 December, the European Commission hosted an awareness event on child safety. It focussed on a case study of cords and chains in window coverings - a critical safety hazard that has led to many child deaths globally.

Why is work on cords and chains relevant?

  • 9 children in the EU between 15 and 36 months old were strangled in the cords of a window covering between 2008 – 2010;
  • At least 2 children die every year in the UK alone strangled in the cords of a window covering, estimates show;
  • 119 children in the US have died in accidents involving corded window coverings since 1999.

The event

The event highlighted:

  • The hazards which cords and chains in window coverings pose;
  • International cooperation to improve safety;
  • Work towards stronger safety requirements, and safety from factory to shelf and home installation;
  • Examples of safer products and practical advice on how to improve the safety of products at home.


The event was part of the 3rd International Product Safety Week held in Brussels from 1- 3 December 2010. In an effort to intensify co-operation in product safety on the global market and ensure safety throughout the entire supply chain, the European Commission hosted the 3rd edition of this international event.

This year's theme was "Keeping Consumers Safe across Borders". It brought together consumer product safety (non-food) professionals from around the globe.

Watch highlights from the awareness event on child safety from 2 December 2010

Find out more

International Product Safety Week

Full programme of child safety event

More background on window blinds cords and chains

Latest EU product safety news


Picture courtesy ACCC Australia