Free window blind cleats are set to be handed out to parents at Cambridgeshire Children's Centres from 23 June as part of Child Safety Week.

The East of England Trading Standards Association have funded the purchase of the blind cleats as part of their campaign to improve consumer education and remind parents of the need to take precautions to ensure that their children are not put at risk. The giveaway coincides with the annual campaign by the Child Accident Prevention Trust to raise awareness of the risks of child accidents and how they can be prevented.

Children's Centres across the county will be given 100 blind cleats to hand out to parents to tie long cords up out of the way and out of reach of small children.

Elaine Matthews from Cambridgeshire County Council's Supporting Businesses and Communities Service said "We are working with partners, including Children's Centres, to raise awareness to parents and carers of small children of consumer education issues that had been alerted to councils and the media such as children accessing and swallowing liquitabs, children being put at risk from products such as nappy sacks, cell button batteries and blind cords.  The funding from our regional Trading Standards body has allowed us to buy the blind cleats to hand out to parents and carers of small children and this activity is well timed during Child Safety Week."

There are four key product areas which officers are helping to raise safety awareness of:

Blind Cords
Looped blind and window cords are dangerous, as young children, especially, those under 3 can become entangled and do not have the neck strength to free themselves.
There have been at least 23 tragic deaths in the UK since 2000, and more across the world.
Nappy Sacks
At least 11 babies in the UK have died so far from suffocation after pulling nappy sacks stored in their cots, or near to where they had been put to sleep, to their faces. The thinness of the plastic makes it "cling" to the face when breathed in and young babies are unable to pull it away.

Cell Button Batteries
The batteries contain lithium. If a baby or young child swallows a lithium battery, their saliva causes a chemical reaction with the lithium. Within an hour it would leak acid and cause such a severe trauma as to burn a hole in throat or stomach, causing further damage to other internal organs.
Button batteries are becoming increasingly common in homes and can be found in many everyday objects. While it is a legal requirement for toy manufacturers to make sure they are "˜locked' away, they are used "“ and accessible - in many other everyday items such as remote controls, key rings, musical books, flameless candles, calculators and even greetings cards.
While data isn't currently available for the UK, there is evidence from both the US and Australia. In the US, there are around 3,500 incidents per year where someone who has swallowed a button cell battery needs urgent medical treatment. In Australia, it is estimated that four children a week are admitted to hospital because of complications arising out of swallowing the batteries.

Liquitab detergents
There are cases involving young children who have been injured after biting into or placing colourful liquitab detergents in their mouths, after mistaking them for sweets.
Liquitab detergents are an alternative to traditional powder, liquid or tablet style detergents used in washing machines and dishwashers. They are placed in the drum area of washing machines and in the "tablet" slot in dishwashers.
If used correctly, these products are completely safe and very effective, but it is important to underline that it is impossible to "childproof" the home this is a dangerously misleading term implying that 100 per cent safety is achievable.


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