Nov 15 2012 by Gary Fanning, Hamilton Advertiser
A young mum whose daughter was only seconds from death is set to launch a petition calling for a change in the law on killer blinds.
Last week the Advertiser exclusively revealed how Debbie Paterson’s daughter Eilidh almost choked to death after being found hanging from a blind cord at her Larkhall home.
Quick-thinking paramedic Alex Kennedy was on the scene in 90 seconds and helped save Eilidh’s life after she had stopped breathing.
There have been 25 deaths caused by blind cords in the UK since 1999 and 12 have occurred since 2010.
Those grim statistics have prompted the 24-year-old mum of two, who lives in Academy Street, to press for a change of the law.
Debbie said she has been overwhelemed with the support she has received since the article appeard in last week’s Advertiser and inistited the petition will call on maximum restrictions on how long the blind cord can be in a bid to prevent further tragedies.
“I am going to set up a petition, but first I will speak to some blinds companies to see what I have in mind can work practically,” she said.
“We have restrictions in place for our children’s car seat, so why not these blind cords?
“It’s overwhelming the amount of support we had since the story appeared in the paper.
“I also have a meeting with a first aid group coming up and RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) have said they want me to be part of their official campaign.”
Debbie wants to raise awareness of the dangers of blind cords among parents and carers. She has created an awareness page on Facebook warning of the potentialdangers of the cords.
“I just want to urge parents to not risk it ; to check their blinds and make sure they are safe. No parent should have to deal with this situation. It doesn’t just affect the child – there’s a psychological impact on parents as well.”
For more information on Debbie’s campaign, go to www.facebook.com/groups/Makeitsafe.poc/
Debbie is set to meet with Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse MSP Christina McKelvie who has vowed to help her with her petition in any way she can.
Ms McKelvie said: “I look forward to campaigning with Debbie and Eilidh in the future, helping to raise awareness of the dangers that blind chords can entail.”
Debbie is planning a fundraising night for the makeitsafe campaign, Scottish Ambulance Service and Yorkhill Sick Children’s Hospital in Glasgow where doctors thought that Eilidh could have suffered brain damage in the accident.