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Safety warning after three-year-old boy dies in Lichfield

Harrison Joyce

Harrison Joyce

A safety warning has been issued to Lichfield parents after a three -year-old boy died in the city after becoming entangled in a cord attached to a blind.

Harrison Joyce’s death on February 4 came just days before a 16-month-old girl died in similar circumstances in Stafford.

The deaths have led HM Coroner Andrew Haigh to advise parents to be aware of dangers in the home.

Mr Haigh added:

“I am saddened to have these two deaths reported to me. In due course I will be holding full Inquests into the deaths but I feel it is appropriate at this time that parents of young children are reminded of the potential danger of blind cords.”

Sheila Merrill, home safety manager for England at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, added that although such incidents were rare, parents needed to be on their guard.

She explained:

“We typically hear about one or two children dying after becoming tangled in blind cords in the UK each year and there are many more near misses. To hear about two cases in five days in the same area brings home to all of us the danger looped cords pose to children.

“The danger for young children is that a loop which hangs at waist height for an adult could slip around the neck of a young child if he or she falls or, if the loop is at floor level, it could become wrapped around the neck of a baby who is crawling. There have also been cases in which babies have been accidentally strangled by cord loops hanging into their cots.

“Where there are young children present in the home, our advice is to tie looped blind cords up out of the reach of young children or to cut the loop so it hangs in two strands. However, the supervision of young children also plays a vital part in reducing the likelihood of accidents happening. If you’re thinking of buying new blinds, look for a design which doesn’t have cords or chains.”

Safety advice is available from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA).

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.


  1. Pingback: Family call for blinds to be banned after boy’s death in Lichfield

  2. J Hunt

    18th February, 2010 at 1:40 pm