Warning after girl, 2, choked by blind cord

Mother calls for parents to be ‘extra vigilant’ after daughter dies

A mother whose daughter died after being choked by a blind cord has called for parents to be “extra vigilant” around their homes.

An emotional Lynda Redmond, from Graiguenamanagh, Co Kilkenny, appealed to parents, saying: “If this can happen to me, this can happen to anyone.”

Her two-year-old daughter Roisin was rushed to Waterford General Hospital after she got caught up in the cord while playing in her grandmother’s house on December 16 last.

Despite efforts by medics to save her, in her grandmother’s house and in the hospital, she was pronounced dead later that day. Her parents, David and Lynda, have been left devastated and in a state of shock at the loss of their youngest child. The couple have one other child, Killian.

Since 2010, 18 children have died in similar incidents here and in Britain.

“It’s our job as parents to tie them [cords] up. We’ve learned the harsh lesson. Go and look at your blinds to check that they are tied up. It takes 10 seconds to double-check them. Just take the time out and do that, because you can’t go back, and I should have,” said Lynda, who was speaking on Joe Duffy’s Liveline show.

“Make it a new year’s resolution. Maybe I can save someone’s life by talking about this. Well, if 10 people check their blinds, then I’ve made a difference. Kids get in to all sorts and Roisín was no different. She was full of beans. My father always made sure the blinds were tied up, but she still got to them. They weren’t old blinds.

“My days now are long, lonely and hard. We will get through this and there will be light at the end of the tunnel. We’ve got to get up in the morning and dressed for Killian. We have to keep going for him, too. Life goes on and we have an amazing family and friends.”

Roisin’s comments come as Amanda O’Halloran, the founder of organisation Ban Looped Blind Cords in the UK (Sophia’s Cause), which was set up when Ms O’Halloran’s daughter died in 2013 after also becoming caught in a cord, called for manufacturing standards to be changed before another life is lost. Ms O’Halloran’s daughter Sophia Lily Parslow was aged just 17 months when she died.

“Without awareness being spread, more and more children will die. With so many blinds in our homes it’s only a matter of time before another family is left devastated. I don’t want that to happen.

“Manufacturers have pushed the blame onto the consumer, safety devices have rarely outlived the life of the blind and have been proven time and time again to be useless. Children have still died and been seriously injured from blinds fitted with cleats or chain breakers. The standards for blinds need to change, the government needs to realise the dangers. Blinds do not need cords. The only safe blind to have is a cordless design.

“It takes seven seconds for a child to fall unconscious and less than one minute to die. Blinds are silent killers, some children have even died in close proximity to their carers. Do not take the risk. Remove your corded blind and replace it with a cordless design.”

Amanda set up a Facebook page highlighting her call for a ban to blind cords. There are almost 11,000 likes.


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