Strangulation risks for children
Your child is at risk of being strangled by anything that's put around their neck.
- cords on window blinds and curtains
- strings and cords on clothes and wall-mounted lamps
- strings on household items
- chains, ribbons and strings on soothers
- jewellery, including teething jewellery
- electrical cords and wires
- fixtures, furniture and fittings
Older children may share unsuitable objects with your child.
Do not allow children to play with string, cords, jewellery or ropes.
Any item near the neck of a child could get caught.
Do not dress your baby or young child in:
- clothes with strings or cords attached, like hoodies with drawstrings or ties on hats
- jewellery, including teething jewellery
Only use a dressing gown with a short belt that is securely attached to the gown.
Do not attach strings, ribbons or chains to soothers.
Remove bibs once your child has finished eating and before putting them down to sleep.
Do not put jewellery, teething jewellery or ribbons on a child under the age of 3.
Window blinds and curtains
Cords and chains on window blinds and curtains have strangled children, causing death.
Do not fit blinds and curtains with cords or chains attached.
If possible, replace existing curtains and blinds with ones that have no cords or chains.
Replacing and securing cords and chains
Replace existing cords and chains with curtain or blind wands. Keep wands out of reach of your child to prevent eye injuries.
Install a tie-down or tension device. These devices can pull the cord or chain tight and secure them to the wall or floor. This prevents strangulation risk.
Inner cords are cords within window blinds that hold the parts of the blinds together. They usually run from top to bottom. They are usually within the blinds or at the back.
Check all your blinds, including roman blinds and venetian blinds, for inner cords. Inner cords are a strangulation risk to children as they can form loops.
You can buy devices to prevent inner cords being a danger to your child. These include inner cord stops and breakaway clips. These devices will break the cord away from the blind or prevent a loop if any reasonable weight is placed on the cord.
You can buy inner cord child safety devices from companies that specialise in blinds.
Curtain tie-backs hold curtains back from the window when the curtains are open. They are a strangulation risk to children. This is because they create a loop to hold the curtain back. A child's head could get caught in this loop. This could lead to strangulation. Check the curtains in all your rooms. Remove these tie-backs if you have them. Store them out of reach of children.
Curtain tape is used to form pleats in curtains. It contains strings or cords that you pull. These strings or cords are a strangulation risk to children. Keep curtain tape and their cords or strings out of reach and sight of children.
Keep cords or chains out of reach
Keep curtain or blind cords and chains out of your child's reach. Never put your child near a window or patio door if they're in a:
- high chair
Keep sofas, chairs, tables, shelves or bookcases away from windows. This is to to stop children climbing up and reaching curtain or blind cords.
Wall lamps with cords
Keep cords on wall-mounted lamps out of reach of young children. Keep them away from their cot, bed, high-chair and playpen.
Cots and beds
Strangulation or accidental hanging can happen when a child's head or neck is caught up in:
- gaps between the mattress and the cot or bed
- rope tied to or near their cot or bed
Never tie belts, dressing gowns, ropes, cords or skipping ropes to a child's bed to store them. Do not hang bunting or other items on your child's cot or bed.
Be careful using second-hand or older cots and equipment. They may not meet current safety standards.
Furniture and household items
Beware of the risk of your child getting trapped or strangled by:
- the bars of cots
- furniture with gaps
- stair banisters
Keep electrical and lamp cords away from cots, beds, high chairs and playpens.
Make sure all string, ropes, cords and jewellery are out of your child's reach.