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Mum’s window blinds campaign goes out on Facebook

A MUM campaigning for a ban on window blind cords has made an emotional plea on Facebook.

Amanda O’Halloran, from Tirley, started Sophia’s Cause after her 17-month-old daughter Sophia died by getting tangled in a blind cord.

  1. Amanda O'Halloran

    Amanda O’Halloran

She is calling for a Parliamentary debate on the issue, claiming the fact that all blinds can be bought with a cordless design rules out the need for the dangerous loops that dangle within reach of young children.

She needs to gather 100,000 signatures for her petition to force a debate – and so far more than 3,600 people have signed up.

On Saturday she posted an emotional message on her Facebook page: “Ban Looped Blind Cords in the UK – Sophia’s Cause”.

She said: “I hate weekends in particular, what used to be family time is now nothing but loneliness.

“My life seems pointless without you Fifi, there’s nothing in this world I want more right now than to have you in my arms.

“Very heartbroken mummy right now.”

Sophia died on June 27 while she was playing in the living room of the family home. She was left alone for just a few minutes.

In another post Amanda added: “Please keep sharing Sophia’s Cause, there are still so many people out there who are unaware of the dangers that blinds with cords pose to young children.

“My beautiful baby girl paid the ultimate price and I feel it is my responsibility to warn others so that no more innocent lives are taken this way.

“Sophia’s death has affected so many people, my little girl is loved and missed by so many.”

At the time of going to press there were 3,685 signatures on the petition.

The online petition will close on September 23, 2014.

To add your signature go to epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/ 55067 and for more information go to the Sophia’s Cause Facebook page.
Read more: http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/Mum-s-window-blinds-campaign-goes-Facebook/story-19963811-detail/story.html#ixzz2iOUgWcEL
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Impossible not to blame myself for tragedy

MUM Amanda O’Halloran says it has been impossible not to blame herself for a freak incident in which her 17-month-old daughter strangled herself on a blind cord.

Toddler Sophia was playing at the family home, in Tirley, when she got her neck caught in the beaded loop and fell over. She died in seconds while her mum popped to the loo.

Amanda said despite being plagued with guilt, she knew what happened to Sophia could have happened to anyone of that age.

Now through Sophia’s Cause, she and her partner Chris Parslow are campaigning to get looped cord blinds banned across the UK – as well as urging parents to use cordless blinds.

Amanda, 22, said: “Of course I blamed myself for what happened to start with. But every parent, if they are being honest, will tell you that it is impossible to keep an eye on their child every minute of the day. Everyone has to go to the toilet at some point.

“I know that by speaking out about my story I am risking some people criticising me as a bad mum. But I know that I wasn’t. Sophia was so well-loved.”

Sophia died on the morning of June 27.

“I still have to live with that image in my head and it is something I will never forget,” added hotel receptionist Amanda.

“But I also have so many happy memories of Sophia.”

She is believed to be the 28th person in the UK to have died on a blind cord since 1999.

The British Blind and Shutter Association said it is making changes to ensure safety devices come with cord blinds.

Amanda has spoken to her MP, Forest of Dean’s Mark Harper who said he would comment once he had spoken to to her again.

Stroud MP Neil Carmichael said: “Safety in the home is so important. I think it’s important to identify issues like this and act so they can’t happen again.”

Gloucester MP Richard Graham said: “This is a ghastly human tragedy, but I don’t think we should rush into changes into the law.”

To sign the petition to have cord blinds banned at epetitions.direct. gov.uk/petitions/55067.

Read more: http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/Impossible-blame-tragedy/story-19863105-detail/story.html#ixzz2gSZ5q299