Looped blind cords should be banned – coroner after two children strangled

Harrison Joyce, aged three, from Lichfield, who died after being accidentally strangled in a loop blind cord

LOOP blind cords should be made safer or banned, a coroner said after two toddlers from Staffordshire were accidentally strangled within five days of each other.

Andrew Haigh recorded verdicts of accidental death for Lillian Bagnall-Lambe, aged 16 months, from Stafford, and Harrison Joyce, aged three, who died after becoming entangled in the cords.

Speaking after the hearing, the South Staffordshire coroner said he would write to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to highlight the problem.

He took the same action in 2004 after dealing with another case where a child was killed by a blind cord.

Mr Haigh said: “The frequency of deaths of this kind is more of a problem than we would anticipate or expect.

“The first element of my letter is to say ’is there any way to more strictly enforce the existing British standard as to what should happen with blind cords?’ If not the next step is to ban looped blind cords completely.

“I feel very sorry for both sets of parents in these cases and in the similar previous case as well. They were in perfectly pleasant homes with responsible mothers and this risk just was not envisaged at all. The children were left in circumstances that appeared to be safe.”

Harrison’s parents have started a campaign for a law in their son’s name which would see looped cords on blinds and curtains banned.

His father, Scott Joyce, told Sky News: “It was banned in the USA 10 years ago, which is a tragedy for us, as well as all the other parents that have lost their children over the years. I believe Australia have banned it, I believe it’s banned in Canada and still in the UK these systems are being sold.”

Lillian, from Dartmouth Street, Stafford, died on February 9 and Harrison, from Lichfield, five days before.

Leave a Reply