Northern Ireland

County Down toddler dies in blind cord accident

The family of a two-year-old boy are in mourning after he died in a freak accident in Mayobridge near Newry, County Down, on Saturday.

Daniel Grant, who was two-and-a-half years old, became entangled in a blind cord at his family home.

Since 2010, there have been 13 deaths across the UK linked to blind cords.

South Down MP Margaret Ritchie said she had visited the family and offered her sympathy on behalf of the community.

"They are in an immense amount of grief," she said.

"They have been met with a lot of support and solidarity at this difficult time. I must wanted to offer my heartfelt sympathy."

Sinn Fein's Caitriona Ruane has offered her sympathy to the boy's family.

The South Down MLA said: "This tragic accident has been felt by the entire community and I would like to extend my condolences to the family.

"Our thoughts are with them at this time," she added.

SDLP representatives in south Down issued a joint statement, which said they were "deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death".

"We also know that the local community in Mayobridge are also grieving for the family at this challenging and difficult time.

"It is important that all of us stand shoulder to shoulder with the family of the little toddler to provide support and solidarity," they added.

As well a number of deaths linked to blind cords, there have also been many other instances of near misses where parents have managed to extricate children who became entangled.

Sheila Merrill, public health adviser for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said the group had been campaigning for improved safety around cords on blinds.

"We all have blinds in our homes now. They are much more readily available. This is one of the reasons why there is an increase in blinds deaths," she said.

"Our advice is to fix your cord upon a cleat or safety device. The cleat is one of the easiest and most affordable - you wrap the cord around it in a figure of eight."

Ms Merrill said it was important to put cords out of the way and, if buying a new blind, go for one that had no cords at all.

"This is the safest way," she said.

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