There has to be at least one person who reads that headline and honestly thinks I’m going to be talking about Feng Shui. I wish I was talking about Feng Shui. It would be a much lighter topic than that of which I speak today. Anyway, if you did rock up thinking I was talking about Feng Shui please stay, as if you are going to be putting a cot up in a room soon then this is information you need to know.
Sadly, a few weeks ago, a little 19 month old boy died as he was strangled by the blind cord while in his cot. My heart was so saddened by this story. It has really stuck with me. I think perhaps it is because Monkey was only 4 months older than this little one. It could so easily have been him.
As I processed this story I started to feel a bit surprised by it. Surprise that this could even happen. Doesn’t everyone know you aren’t supposed to put the cot near the window? And the answer is NO. Of course everyone doesn’t know. I don’t even know how I know. I’m just an extremely paranoid person who reads a lot. But not every new mum is like that.
Maybe this mum didn’t read that many books. Maybe she doesn’t do the internet. Maybe no one mentioned it to her. Maybe she simply hasn’t come across that one sentence. Maybe she read it somewhere but was distracted that day. Maybe it just didn’t sink in. Whatever it was, she didn’t know. And that is no one’s fault, especially not hers.
The other thing that struck me was that I hadn’t considered this to be a big issue for this age group. I was always worried about it for when Monkey was younger but at this age I thought he might know better. That is so silly of me to think. At this toddler age they are nothing but happy playful little monkeys who would love the idea of reaching out for a swinging blind cord. It is a harsh reminder that as parents we need to be ever vigilant and remember that our children do not have a sense of danger. It is our job to be that sense for them right now.
What can you do to prevent this happening?
1. Don’t put the cot near the window. There are 4 walls in your child’s room. Put the cot against one of those, well away from the window and blinds. This may mean that you can’t have the cot pushed flush into the corner. No big deal. We can’t and it’s not a hassle. The cot is sitting in the middle of the wall between the window and the door, like the picture at the top of this post.
2. Remember kids can be little climbing monkeys so they can reach out and grab a loose cord from their cot then there is no reason they can’t pull themselves up and loop the cord around their head. Move the cot further away.
3. Snip your cords so they don’t loop! They’ll still work! This is what we have done in Monkey’s room. Apparently legislation is in place in NSW, QLD, VIC, WA, TAS and SA restricting or banning looped window cords but I’m here to tell you I live in NSW and I am staring at a looped cord on my window blinds right now. Even if they are snipped, if they are long they are still a danger as they can get looped around many things including your child’s neck.
4. Tell your friends! Makes sure everyone knows that this is a risk. I don’t normally push people to share my posts but today I am begging you, get this out there. Share it on Facebook, Twitter or email it to your friends. If even one new mummy or mummy-to-be reads this as new information then we have helped one more family avoid this terrible tragedy.
A reader contribution post publishing
5. Get safety cords for your blinds. I didn’t know about these. The lovely mummy over at the Mmmmm Family has left us the info on this in the comments below. Basically the cords are designed so that if there is any sort of pressure they will split, breaking the loop. You can view more info about them here.