A hazard in clear line of sight

Most homes have them and yet the dangers associated with window blinds are not widely known. As a leading safety hazard for children under 6 years old, there seems to be an oversight in the understanding of how dangerous this everyday fixture in our home, actually is.

The dangers of blind cords peak between one to four years of age as toddlers gain mobility and become curious about their surroundings. They are able to reach blind cords, but they do not understand the danger of strangulation and are unable to free themselves once entangled. While many parents think this won’t happen to them if they just watch their child, most injuries happen while a child is under a parent’s care and has been left alone for the time it takes to boil the kettle.

Tenancy Services is working with Consumer Protection to raise awareness of the deadly combination of loose cords and young children in homes, but here is what you can do to ensure their safety:

  • Start by going through your rental homes to identify any blinds or curtains with long or looped cords that are within a child's reach or near furniture they can climb on. If you are a tenant, you can do this immediately and if you are a property manager or landlord you can include this in your regular property inspections.
  • Replace or remove any window coverings with cords, use a tension device to keep cords safe, retrofit cords to make them safer and keep all cords out of reach.
  • You can get tension devices (also known as "cord tensioners" or “cord cleats”) from hardware or window furnishing stores. This is a minor change that can be purchased for a small cost and makes a great difference towards safer homes for children.

Source: https://harcourts.net/nz/resources/a-hazard-in-clear-line-of-sight?fbclid=IwAR19bszztO1o-6M9kVlIN5UiOGXY3Ni0rQ3Er8_PR1EdL1F_X-yXPwda_7w

For more information visit:https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/maintenance-and-inspections/regular-maintenance/tenantsmaking-changes-to-the-property/