VILLAGE MOURNS TRAGIC TODDLER
Tuesday, 26 February 2013
THE close-knit community of Mayobridge is in shock and mourning after the tragic death of little Daniel Grant on Saturday.
The two-year-old son of Brian and Paula Grant, owners of the village Spar shop, will be buried later this week after his body was returned to his loved ones yesterday (Monday).
Sirens could be heard throughout the village on Saturday evening as ambulances rushed to try and save the little boy who became entangled in a blind cord after climbing on a windowsill to watch a tractor pass his house.
Daniel's parents are familiar faces throughout Mayobridge, having long served its residents from behind the counter of their small shop at the top of the village. And the toddler, known for his bright smile and love of sports and tractors, was a regular fixture in the shop where he enjoyed chatting to customers and "helping" his mummy, daddy and older siblings as they worked.
Such has been the show of support for Daniel's grieving family that a cordon was set up around their Bavan Road home to allow for parking in an adjoining field as hundreds upon hundreds paid their respects and offered their sympathies in the days since the tragic accident. Details of the child's funeral had yet to be confirmed at the time of going to press, but it's understood that it will take place in the village chapel on Wednesday.
Blind cord safety was the theme of 2012's Home Safety Week, the annual campaign led by Home Accident Prevention Northern Ireland (HAPNI) and supported by the Southern Health and Social Care Trust.
Launched in Stormont last May, the awareness-raising drive is ongoing, with the Trust facilitating blind cord safety workshops, distributing leaflets with advice and tips, and providing safety devices such as cleat hooks free of charge on request.
Nina Daly, Accident Prevention Officer with the Trust's Promoting Wellbeing Team said many homes have blinds which can be a hidden and lethal hazard to babies and young children.
“The risk does not just exist within a child's own home but any home that a child may visit or be cared for whether that be their grandparents, a family friend, foster home or a childminders," she said.
“Older more established homes that have had blinds fitted for several years will more than likely not have the safety devices fitted and, added to this, the householder may not be aware of the danger that exists in their home.
“Any looped cord - balloon cord, cord from an electrical appliance, toy, clothing - can be dangerous to a baby or child and fatal injury can occur very quickly as young children have large heads in proportion to their body and a small, delicate wind pipe which is easily injured.
“Through the use of products such as cleat hooks or blind cord enclosures and taking care not to place furniture under windows, the risk of this type of accident can be greatly reduced."
The Trust is inviting expressions of interest from groups or organisations wanting to send a representative to any future blind cord safety workshop and can be contacted on (028) 3834 4973.
At industry level the British Blind and Shutter Association (BBSA) established the campaign website www.makeitsafe.org.uk and blind manufacturers/retailers are encouraged to sign up by offering safety devices and advice to customers when new blinds are purchased/fitted in the home.
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Work is happening at a European level too, with a safety directive (EN13120 ) currently in development around the manufacturing of blinds.
For more information, tips and advice on blind cord safety visit: www.windowblindsafety.ie
The site was set up in memory of two-year-old Arran Malley, who died while playing with an unsecured window blind cord in February 2009. It explains and highlights the dangers of each type of window blind and shows how to then make the blind as safe as possible.
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