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Ban looped blind cords - tragic Gloucestershire mum's New Year message

By The Citizen  |  Posted: December 30, 2013

  • Amanda O'Halloran and her partner Chris Parslow with Sophia

  • sophia

Comments (3)

IF you make one New Year’s resolution for 2014, get rid of dangerous looped blind cords from inside your home.

That is the wake-up call from heartbroken mum Amanda O’Halloran whose young daughter Sophia died after she accidentally hanged herself on a dangling cord.

The 17-month-old, from Tirley in Gloucestershire, had been left playing for just four minutes in the living room when she got her neck stuck in the window blind lead on June 27.

Now Amanda is campaigning to get that design of blind banned by law in homes across the UK in a bid to prevent further deaths among toddlers.

But more than anything, the 22-year-old wants people to do the job themselves.

“If one good thing could come out of this, it would be that other parents realise the dangers of cord blinds and get rid of them from their homes,” she said.

“It would make us happy if other children are saved because of Sophia.” Through her campaign Sophia’s Cause, Amanda has called for an outright ban on the design.

From March next year, new regulations will be introduced to ensure retailers sell safety equipment with looped blind cords.

But Amanda wants them banned altogether because she claims the new rules do not do enough to protect children.

She said: “Looped blind cords are dangerous and pose an extremely high risk of strangulation and entanglement of young children.

“Too many toddlers have died from strangling themselves on these cord loops.

“There have been 28 known deaths since 1999 in the UK alone, my beautiful 17-month-old little girl Sophia was the 28th victim to this silent killer.

Amanda needs 100,000 signatures on her petition to force a debate on the issue in Parliament. So far, nearly 5,000 people have signed up.

To sign the petition, just go to epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/ 55067

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  • Peter_Parker  |  December 31 2013, 2:06PM

    Why not just ban children from being left near blinds on their own.

    Rate   -2
  • supernova1  |  December 31 2013, 11:52AM

    I too feel incredibly sorry for this family. The mere thought that my new grandson could befall an awful tragedy like this fills me with worry. However, our homes are full of potential disasters, from stairs to chemicals. Regrettably, we can't ban them all. However, we can evaluate everything that poses a danger, and try to eliminate the risks. For example, stairgates and childproof locks on doors. As for blinds, it's often possible to fix a small hook at adults height, and loop the cord over. Again, sincere condolences, and hope the petition gets good publicity.

    Rate   4
  • Whizzo  |  December 31 2013, 10:03AM

    I feel deeply for this families loss and those prior that have lost children to this hazard but surely rather than a petition the simple solution is, if you have or intend to have a family then do not fit window blinds?

    Rate   3