Safety at Home:Button and Curtain Cord Safety
Understanding the danger
Young children can strangle themselves with looped curtain and blind cords. At least 12 young children have died as a result in Australia since the year 2000, including two in Victoria in August and September 2009.
Why are loose cords dangerous?
A child can place the loop over their head and/or get tangled in loose cords when they are:
- in a cot or bed where cords are hanging
- playing near cords, or
- standing on a chair, sofa or bed to look out of a window.
How will the safety kit help?
The safety kit contains a device that tensions looped cords to a window frame so they are no longer loose, reducing the likelihood of strangulation.
What is in the safety kit?
The safety kit contains five plastic devices with screws and instructions. To install the device:
- Pull the cord through the device
- Pull the device down until the cord is tight
- Screw the device into the window frame.
- Use one device and one screw for each cord.
- If you are unsure about any aspect of the installation of the kit, consult a registered tradesperson.
- The device in this safety kit is only suitable if you have roller blinds with looped cords and wooden window frames. For other types of blinds, curtains and frames, please purchase suitable safety devices from your local curtain and blind retailer or hardware store.
Order a free safety kit to make looped curtain and blind cords safer in your home. Order through our online order form or call 1300 55 81 81. Stocks are limited.
Tell your friends and family to request a free safety kit: it’s easy and free.
- Give students a free safety kit order form to take home – request more copies of the order form from firstname.lastname@example.org
- Include an article about unsafe curtain and blind cords in your parent bulletin, newsletter or website – example curtain and blind article for schools (Word, 21KB).
Steps for protecting children
Take these four simple steps to ensure that blind and curtain cords/chains are out of reach of children,
particularly from children under six.
1. Check your blind and curtain cords
- Check for loose or looped cords that your child can reach from the floor or by climbing on furniture.
- Immediately tie cords out of reach and move away any furniture children might climb on to reach them.
- Do this anywhere you are staying, including on holiday.
2. Secure your cords out of reach
- Buy cleats or tensioning devices for securing cords from a hardware store or curtain and blind shop.
- Use screws to fix each cleat or tensioning device in a place that is out of reach of children.
- Never secure these devices with materials that may fail when a load is placed on them, such as double-sided tape or glue.
- If you cannot fix your unsafe cords and chains out of reach yourself, get a reliable tradesperson to do it for you. If you are renting your home, seek help from your landlord or agent.
3. Choose safe blinds and curtains
Buy new curtains and blinds which:
- comply with the national mandatory standard
- have warning labels to remind you of dangers to children
- provide a way to secure cords/chains so there are no loops or strands that children can reach, or
- operate without exposed cords/chains.
4. Keep children away from all cords/chains
- Move anything a young child can sit in, stand or climb on (like cots, highchairs, beds, sofas, tables, chairs and bookshelves) away from cords/ chains—even those tied around a cleat, as your child may be able to untie them.
- Do not let children play near cords/chains they can reach.
- Never leave children alone in a room with cords/chains they can reach.