New Zealand is being asked to introduce safety standards for blinds to stop children being hurt or even killed in the cords.

Between 2002 and 2009, 13 babies or young people died as a result of unintentional strangulation. Mainly children under 2 died from strangulation with loose cords.

In 2011, 13-month-old Isahn Keenan-Richards accidentally hanged himself on roman blind cords. An 11-month-old girl died in similar circumstances.

The Australian Government introduced mandatory standards in 2010. Safekids Aotearoa director Anne Weaver said there should be a similar requirement in New Zealand.


"Reputable blind companies put in cleats and have cords that pull apart if there is a weight put on them. We need to regulate."

Parents often did not realise their children could reach things such as blinds until they did it, she said.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment said there were "no plans at this stage" for New Zealand to regulate on blind designs.

Instead, the department's Trading Standards division focused on safety education.

On its website, parents are urged to ensure nursery furniture is kept well away from cords.