Safety warning: The four deadly dangers in your home

Sophie Allen, who died aged two in April 2014 after she was found hanging from a blind cord at her home in Red House, Sunderland.

Sophie Allen, who died aged two in April 2014 after she was found hanging from a blind cord at her home in Red House, Sunderland.

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A BID has been launched to help save children from potentially fatal hazards in their own home.

Blind cords, nappy sacks, button-type watch batteries and liquitab washing liquid are the four main items identified at the centre of a public awareness campaign.

It comes in the wake of our For Sophie’s Sake campaign which we launched to raise awareness of the dangers of looped blind cords after the accidental death of two-year-old Sophie Allen from Red House.

The toddler suffered catastrophic brain damage after she was found hanging from the blind cord in the bedroom of her home.

Parents Peter Allen and Danielle Hudson, are urging people to sign an online petition to ban looped blind cords, which has so far received more than 8,000 signatures.

Sunderland City Council’s Trading Standards team are part of the regional partnership raising awareness of potential hazards within the home and the advice and training available to guard against them.

All four items mentioned are commonly-found domestic items which have caused accidental deaths and serious injuries to babies and children left unattended.

As well as deaths caused by blind cords, UK children have suffocated when they have put nappy sacks over their heads. The smaller, watch-type batteries have also been swallowed and caused children to choke, while the small liquitab sachets of washing detergent liquid have been mistaken for juice.

Funding from the North East Trading Standards Association (NETSA) has provided posters which will be displayed across city schools, children’s centres, libraries, contact centres and supermarkets to raise awareness. Through NETSA Sunderland City Council’s Trading Standards team is also organising training for health visitors and other health professionals working with children and young people.

Portfolio holder for city services, Coun Michael Mordey, said: “Accidents at home are still the biggest killer of babies and children under five, which is even more tragic when you consider that the risks are avoidable if we are all just a little more careful and diligent around the home. All household products are perfectly safe when used in the right way, but potential hazards for our children if we aren’t careful.”

•As part of the initiative a free Preventing Accidents at Home half-day training event is being held at Farringdon Community Fire Station tomorrow from 9.30am to 12.30pm.

Log on to to sign the petition.

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