Hertfordshire parents back blind cord safety campaign

Emily Warner and Arthur Winfield Emily and Arthur's parents want to warn other families about the dangers of blind cords

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The parents of two Hertfordshire toddlers who died after becoming entangled in blind cords are backing a campaign highlighting their dangers.

Two-year-olds Emily Warner from Royston and Arthur Winfield from Markyate, died in separate accidents involving window blind cords.

The families are supporting a leaflet campaign launched by the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Board.

Emily's father said: "We don't want other families to suffer as we have."

An inquest at Hatfield Coroner's Court heard Emily was badly hurt last August in a "tragic accident". She was resuscitated but suffered significant brain damage and died four months later.

Coroner Edward Thomas recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Mr Warner said: "By taking some simple steps with your blinds you can protect your children. Our family has been broken, Emmie was the light of our lives, such a wonderful little girl."

'Out of reach'

Arthur Winfield's accident took place in his bedroom on 5 January. He died at Great Ormond Street Hospital five days later.

His father Oli said his family was "totally devastated" at the loss of their son and urged parents to make sure all their blind cords and chains were safe.

"You always think your home is going to be a safe place, especially for your children," he said.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said there had been at least 18 deaths similar to these in the UK since 1999.

Most accidental deaths involving blind cords or chains take place in bedrooms, with an average of two children in the UK dying each year.

"It doesn't take much time to ensure that your blind cords and chains are safe," said Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Board chairman Phil Picton.

"Simply making sure that blind cords are tied up out of reach, even if your child climbs up to try to reach it, could prevent them from being seriously hurt or killed."

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