New parents across the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council area will receive free blind cord safety devices when they register their child’s birth, as part of an important initiative aimed at reducing accidents in the home.
From this month, first-time parents will also be given Safety Advice Packs when they visit their local Registrar Office under the new campaign being undertaken by Council’s Community Health and Wellbeing Team in conjunction with the Registrars Service.
The scheme is part of an initiative to reduce the number of home accidents involving young children and will see parents receive blind cord safety devices and fitting instructions free of charge.
According to statistics published in the Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland Report 2016-2017, there have been three confirmed deaths from blind cord strangulation in the last three years in Northern Ireland.
Every year, thousands of children under the age of five are admitted to hospital following accidents in the home, and lots of these accidents are preventable.
More than any other age group, Under-Fives depend on the adults around them to help keep them safe as they become more mobile and begin exploring their home surroundings.
This project, supported by funding from the Public Health Agency, is designed to raise awareness of the dangers of blind cords and highlight the range of other home safety support measures available to young families in the Borough.
In addition, the Council’s Community Health and Wellbeing Team offer home safety and energy efficiency visits to all families with young children.
Exposure to cold and damp living conditions during infancy and childhood increases the risk of respiratory diseases and allergies and represents another significant risk to children in the home.
The Safety Advice Packs available from Council also offer information on measures that can be taken to improve energy efficiency in the home, and details of how to contact the Wellbeing Team to request a visit.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Councillor Maureen Morrow, is urging households with young families to follow the advice on home safety and energy efficiency issues, especially in relation to the safe use of blind cords.
Councillor Morrow: “Council’s Community Health and Wellbeing Advisers are on hand to offer wellbeing advice and to highlight the dangers associated with blind cords. Officers can carry out home visits and provide advice on issues around home safety and energy efficiency.
“Council is proactively working to raise awareness around these issues. By being aware of the dangers and heeding relevant guidelines the risks from blind cords and other potential dangers around the home can be avoided, so please make use of the information available or contact the Community Health and Wellbeing Team directly for advice.”
For further information and support please contact the Community Health and Wellbeing Team on 028 2826 2462 or email wellbeing@midandeastantrim.