Graeme Morrice MP has welcomed the news that the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is extending its blind cord safety awareness campaign to West Lothian.

New funding will allow RoSPA to raise awareness of the safety issues surrounding looped blind cords by distributing thousands of “Make it Safe” packs in the county.  RoSPA is aware of at least 21 children dying in blind cord accidents in the UK since 1999 (with 10 occurring since the beginning of 2010).

A total of 15,000 Make it Safe packs including a cleat – a small plastic device that is fitted to the side of the window for the operating cord to be wrapped around – as well as a leaflet providing parents and carers with safety tips have been distributed so far.

Graeme Morrice MP said:

"The fact that so many young children have died in blind cord accidents in recent years is an absolute tragedy.  The extension of the Make it Safe campaign to West Lothian is therefore a welcome development.  I commend the important work the campaign is doing to raise awareness of the dangers posed by blind cords and urge local parents with young children to be aware of the steps they can take to avoid accidents in the home."

RoSPA advises people buying new blinds to look for a design that doesn’t have cords or chains, particularly for a child’s bedroom.  It also advises parents and carers not to put a child’s cot, bed, playpen or highchair near a window.  Where there are blinds with cords or chains in the house, RoSPA advises that cords are kept tied up and out of the reach of young children using a cleat, cord tidy, clip or tie.

Full details about the dangers of looped blind cords and corresponding safety advice can be found at www.rospa.com/about/currentcampaigns/blindcords/.

The Make it Safe leaflet is available online at www.rospa.com/HomeSafety/Info/blind-cord-safety.pdf.  The leaflet was produced by the British Blind and Shutter Association, with which RoSPA is working on a wider blind cord safety campaign.