Dangers of cords

Shading Places make customers aware of the dangers of cords hanging from blinds. Safety campaigners urged parents to check window blinds in their children’s bedrooms yesterday after the daughter of one of Britain’s richest men was found hanged in her cot.

Alexandra Lucy Hoegh, aged 2, was discovered by her mother Dana after getting caught up in the cord of a blind as she was playing at the family’s £12 million home in Notting Hill, west London.

Paramedics were called and took the child to hospital but doctors could not save her and she was pronounced dead. Mrs Hoegh was treated for shock.

Her husband Morten, 39, is chairman of Hoegh LNG, a Norwegian oil and gas shipping company valued at more than £3 billion. His personal fortune is estimated at £175 million and he has featured in the Sunday Times Rich List.

The couple married in 2005 and also have a six-year-old son and a daughter, aged five. Police said that the death on Monday was being treated as “non-suspicious”.

Mrs Hoegh, 37, ran into the street holding her unconscious daughter.

A neighbour told The Sun: “The woman was in a total state, sobbing and wailing. She didn’t know what to do. It’s a real tragedy.”

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) said that it knew of 12 cases of deaths caused by blind cords since the beginning of 2010.

“They are all eerily similar, involving a child of around 18 months who is expected to be asleep in their room and they have died as a result of getting entangled in loop cords,” spokesman Michael Corley said.

“Those who have lost children or nearly lost children all say that it happens very, very quickly. The windpipes of children of that age are not fully formed and are easily crushed. It can often be noiseless and fairly instant.”

He said that parents should avoid fitting blinds in toddlers’ bedrooms or keep cots away from windows. Where they could not afford to replace blinds, they should fit wall cleats to tie loop cords away from the reach of children.

Mr Corley said that RoSPA had given away 250,000 cleats as part of a campaign to highlight the dangers of blind cords. New safety standards were also being introduced next year that will require manufacturers to include safety features on blinds to reduce the risk of choking.

The British Blind and Shutter Association said it has been working closely with the British government and the European Union to make child safety standards for internal blinds more stringent. Revised safety standards and currently being consulted upon.

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