Grieving mum’s warning on anniversary of Sunderland toddler’s blind-cord death

Sophie in hospital.
Sophie in hospital.
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A grieving mum has spoken out to warn families of a danger that could be lurking within their home.

Danielle Hudson was speaking on the eve of the second anniversary of the death of her two-year-old daughter.

Sophie Allen, pictured with brother Jayden, right, and baby sister Amelia.

Sophie Allen, pictured with brother Jayden, right, and baby sister Amelia.

Little Sophie Allen died on April 26, 2014, six days after her mother found her tangled in the looped blind cord in the bedroom of her home in Ramillies Road, Red House.

Danielle and Sophie’s dad, Peter Allen, could only watch helplessly as staff at Sunderland Royal Hospital and Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary fought to save their little girl.

Tragically, all efforts failed and Sophie’s life support was switched off after scans showed there was no activity in her brain.

The couple joined forces with the Echo to highlight the danger with our campaign For Sophie’s Sake.

Since we lost Sophie, there have been another three children in the UK and Ireland who have died because of blind cords

Danielle Hudson

New safety regulations governing the manufacture of cords had come into force just months before Sophie’s death but do not apply retrospectively and Danielle fears millions of family homes nationwide still have potentially lethal blinds.

Now she has chosen the anniversary of Sophie’s death to speak out again in the hope of sparing other families the pain of losing a child.

“Since we lost Sophie, there have been another three children in the UK and Ireland who have died because of blind cords,” said Danielle.

“It is still happening. Although the new regulations are in place, people are still not aware of the dangers.

“The regulations came into effect in 2014 - blinds purchased before then do not have the same safety devices installed.

“A lot of people who have got older blinds are not going to be aware that they 
are missing these safety devices.

“The coroner at Sophie’s inquest did mention that there are still potentially millions of blinds in people’s homes that may not have the safety measures, that were purchased before the regulations came into place.”

Speaking after the inquest, Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) spokeswoman Sheila Merrill said: “There are 200million blinds fitted in UK properties. This is why it is important to continue to raise awareness of making sure looped blind cords are kept out of the reach of children.

“This can be done by fitting a safety device such as a chain/cord-break connector, chain/cord tidy or cleat.”