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SB Connect Winter 2016

Tidy cords, safe children

The danger posed by blind cords is being highlighted to parents in the Borders.

Public and private nurseries, playgroups and childminders have received 5,000 leaflets as part of a project between RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), Scottish Borders Council Safer Communities Partnership and Lothian and Borders Fire and Police services – funded by the Scottish Government.

The leaflet warns of the danger blind cords pose to young children. Supplies of leaflets will also be circulated to health visitors and retailers of blinds.

The biggest single cause of accidental serious injury to children in the Borders is from an accident in the home.

Each year, more than 60 children are hospitalised as a result of a serious home accident, with the vast majority of these children being under the age of five.

RoSPA typically hears about one or two children dying after becoming tangled in blind cords in the UK each year and there are likely to be many more near-misses.

Paul Richardson of the Safer Communities Partnership said: “Our advice is simply to ensure that cords are always tied out of the way of children, which can be done by fitting a wall clamp. Children are naturally curious, which can lead them into danger around the home. A looped cord is an unnecessary risk, and is one that is easily remedied.”

RoSPA advises people buying new blinds to choose a design that doesn’t have cords or chains.

For more information contact Scottish Borders Council on 0300 100 1800 or to view the leaflet go to


Tips for reducing the risk

  • make sure all cords and chains are always secured out of reach
  • do not place your child’s cot, bed, highchair or playpen near a blind
  • do not put sofas, chairs, tables, shelves or bookcases near to a blind, as children love to climb
  • when buying new blinds, look for ones without cords or with concealed cords.

Safety devices for blinds

  • cleat: this can be securely fixed
  • a wall and the cord wrapped round it, out of the way
  • cord/chain tidies: these devices are secured to a wall and the cords/chains are held permanently within the device
  • chain-break connector: these will break apart when undue pressure is applied to the operating chain.

Crucial Crew

Borders youngsters should be more ‘streetwise’ thanks to this year’s Crucial Crew event.

The aim of the day was to help 11 and 12-year-olds learn to cope with dangerous situations, work as a team, avoid becoming victims of crime, and understand the roles of the various emergency services.

Eildon Mill in Tweedbank hosted the event, which was attended by 1,200 primary seven pupils. It was organised by partner agencies including the Council, Scottish Power, Border Sport and Leisure Trust, Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service and the Police Safer Communities team.

A number of scenarios were set up where students were faced with potential hazards in strictly controlled circumstances, then asked to respond as they would in real life. At the end of each ten-minute set, staff explained the dangers and appropriate ways of dealing with them. Situations included:

  • fire safety
  • water safety
  • farm safety
  • road safety
  • drugs and alcohol
  • electricity safety
  • what to do in an emergency/first aid.

Paul Richardson of the Safer Communities Partnership said: “The event provides children with crucial safety messages as they are about to make the transition from primary to secondary school, from child to teenager.”