Published on 11-02-11
Proposal to improve safety requirements to reduce the risk of child strangulation linked to window blind cords came a step closer yesterday in Brussels, 9/2/2011.
Children can be entangled in hanging cords when playing, climbing or just exploring. It is estimated that at least two children die every year in such accidents and research shows that fatalities are on the rise. In 2002, 90 children we brought to emergency departments throughout the EU for injuries caused by window blinds or drapery cords. in the past two years, 9 children, aged between 15 and 36 months have been documented as having died from a window coverings accidents in the EU. Similar cases have arisen in the US, Canada and Australia where in the past ten years about 150 children have been accidentally asphyxiated by cords of window blinds .
The safety requirements voted by member states' representatives yesterday aim to ensure that internal blinds and other corded window coverings are inherently safe for children, eliminating the risk of strangulation. These requirements will also cover safety devices that can be installed to make existing blinds in the home much safer.
The proposal will also have an effect on global alignment of safety requirements. Co-operation with international partners will contribute to the development of ideas and sharing of best practice in the area of product safety.
The draft Decision will undergo the scrutiny of the European Parliament and of the Council (3 months) and will then be ratified by the College of Commissioners. The requirements wil then be sent to the European Standards Committee (CEN) who will draw up the relevant standards.