Shopping giant Ikea has banned the sale of window blinds with deadly cords following a campaign by a young mother whose daughter was tragically caught in one.
Amanda O’Halloran, 24, has lobbied for a change in the design of blinds since her daughter Sophia accidentally hanged herself in June 2013 aged 17 months.
She launched Sophia’s Cause which was supported by over 10,000 people and led to improved safety measures being introduced by the British Standards Institute in 2014.
According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, 27 toddlers died as a result of blind cords and chains between 1999 and 2014.
The Swedish superstore has now announced it will no longer sell window blinds with exposed cords in a bid to improve safety.
The company said: “Product safety is the highest priority for IKEA, which is why we have been working to develop alternative solutions to exposed cords in window coverings.
“IKEA is committed to working together with our customers to raise awareness of this important issue and to help families get the knowledge they need to ensure a safer everyday life at home.”
Amanda said she was unaware of the dangers of window cords before Sophia died in the living room of their home in Tirley, Glos.
She now warns that children can die in under a minute from accidental strangulation, and has identified several issues with child safety mechanisms.
She was delighted by Ikea’s decision, and said: “It’s fantastic news. I found out a few weeks ago it was going to go through, and it’s going to be happening in January 2016.”
“Ikea selling cordless is fantastic because they are one of the larger companies.”
Amanda became a mum for a second time when she and her partner Chris Parslow had a baby girl, Isabella, in May last year.
Sheila Merrill, RoSPA’s public health adviser, said: “Too many lives have been needlessly affected by the dangers of looped blind cords, which is why we called upon the blind industry to take voluntary action to reduce the risk.
“We hope that other major retail stores will make the same promise as IKEA to stop selling window blinds with cords.
“Any move that reduces the risk to children is a move in the right direction.”