THE parents of a toddler who died after getting tangled in a blind cord have called for people to sign a petition to ban them.
The online campaign is calling for the Government to outlaw looped blinds cords, which have killed 28 young children in the UK since 1999.
Among the tragic toll is Sunderland toddler Sophie Allen, two, who suffered catastrophic brain damage after she was found hanging from the blind cord in the bedroom of her Sunderland home.
Devastated parents Peter Allen and Danielle Hudson, from Red House, are campaigning to raise awareness of blind cord safety – with the help of the Echo.
New safety regulations governing the manufacture of cords came into force earlier this year, but an inquest into Sophie’s death heard there are still millions of potentially deadly blinds in family homes across the country.
The grieving couple are now encouraging people to sign the e-petition started by Amanda O’Halloran, whose daughter, 17-month-old Sophia, strangled herself in a looped blind cord at her home in Gloucestershire.
So far, the petition has 9,377 signatures. The closing date to sign it is September 23, and 100,000 names are needed to get the issue discussed in the House of Commons.
Mum Danielle said: “Blind cord strangulation is more common than people are aware of. It can happen while your child is in the same room, as it takes less than seven seconds for a child to fall unconscious and cause catastrophic injuries and as little as one minute to cause death.
“Many people won’t think twice, as they think it will never happen to them or someone they know.
“We never thought this would happen to any of our children. We took every precaution to make our children safe, yet we are here now having to learn to live without our daughter because we didn’t know the dangers of blind cords.
“You can replace a blind in your home or take it down, you can’t replace a child’s life. There are many other safe designs of blinds that are on the market. There is no need to manufacture and sell looped cord blinds, especially as there is a type of blind that comes with the new legislation and has many safety warnings attached to it.”
Danielle added: “Please sign the online e-petition and help get looped blind cords taken off the shelves. Our daughter is the last little girl to die in the UK, making her the 28th child since 1999.
“Let’s make her the last child to suffer a death so tragically and never let another family suffer the heartache we are now.”
If the petition reaches 10,000 signatures, campaigner Amanda, 22, will receive a response from the Government.
An attempt by Sunderland’s coroner to spur authorities into action has already been turned down. After Sophie’s inquest in June, senior coroner Derek Winter said he would write to Government chiefs in a bid to stop more youngsters being killed by blind cords.
But the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills replied to say they believed this was already being achieved through “an established and effective network of partners”, led by the British Blind and Shutters Association and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accident.
The petition is at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/55067 until September 23.