Strangled by blind cord: toddler dies

A toddler has died after being choked by a blind cord while in her cot in north-west Sydney, police say.

The girl, 3, was placed on life support after she was found unconscious by her father in the kitchen of their North Parramatta home about 1pm on Friday.

A police spokeswoman said her life support was turned off about 11.50am today. The girl's death was not considered suspicious at this stage, police said.

Her death came as police issued a warning about home safety after a six-year-old girl fell out of a window on to a concrete surface three metres below in Casula about noon yesterday.

She remained in a stable condition at The Children's Hospital in Westmead, a hospital spokeswoman said this morning. It is not known what injuries she had.

Since the early 1990s, at least 15 children have died in Australia after being strangled by blind or curtain cords, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said.

Kidsafe NSW executive officer Christine Erskine said the main hazard of blind and curtain cords were loops that could turn into potential nooses for a child.

Manufacturers of blind and curtain cords had to conform to mandatory safety standards on design, construction and marketing under Australian consumer law.

Parents could also reduce the risks that cords posed by cutting them into single strands, and pleating or winding them up beyond the reach of children, Ms Erskine said.

Other safety tips included:Making sure there was a large-enough gap between the wall where the blinds were and the child's bed.Avoiding the use of bedrooms as play spaces, as there was a risk of children climbing on to furniture and getting caught on cords or other hazards.Being aware of other types of cords, such as those from clothes lines, awnings and even those attached to sun hats.

Ms Erskine said parents had to remember their children might also spend some of their time at childcare centres or in other people's homes.

"Children are quite mobile nowadays. Your house might be safe but it's also about where else they might be going to," she said.

"It's better to be safe than to not offend the owner of the place where they are going to."

Police reminded parents that fly-screens were not "childproof"', that furniture should not be near windows and to keep windows locked if children were left unsupervised.

Further reading:NSW Fair Trading safety alert on blind and curtain cordsACCC: Blind and curtain cord safety

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