A blind cord safety awareness campaign by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has started in Edinburgh.
The capital is one of five new areas in Scotland highlighting the campaign thanks to the generous donations of Scottish businesses.
The City of Edinburgh Council , with support from RoSPA, is raising awareness of the safety issues surrounding looped blind cords by distributing thousands of "Make it Safe" packs.
RoSPA is aware of at least 21 children dying in blind cord accidents in the UK since 1999 (with 10 occurring since the beginning of 2010). Suspecting that there could be many more near misses, RoSPA set up a pilot Make it Safe project in North Lanarkshire with financial backing from the Scottish Government.
A total of 15,000 Make it Safe packs including a cleat - a small plastic device that is fitted to the side of the window for the operating cord to be wrapped around - as well as a leaflet providing parents and carers with safety tips have been distributed so far.
RoSPA's research indicates that most accidental deaths involving blind cords happen in a bedroom and occur in children aged between 16 months and 36 months.
The City of Edinburgh Council 's Environment Leader, Cllr Robert Aldridge, said: "Although incidents are rare in Scotland one accident is one too many and anything that can be done to highlight this campaign is to be welcomed. I'm really pleased that our trading standards service will be raising awareness of safety issues around looped blind cords."
Julia Rolinson, RoSPA events manager, said: "It is fantastic that the overwhelming generosity shown by Scottish businesses is being used to help improve the safety of families across Scotland ."
Jennifer Henderson, RoSPA Scotland 's home safety officer, said: "We're delighted that thousands of families can benefit from the Make it Safe initiative thanks to the generous support of Scottish businesses."
RoSPA advises people buying new blinds to look for a design that doesn't have cords or chains, particularly for a child's bedroom. It also advises parents and carers not to put a child's cot, bed, playpen or highchair near a window. Where there are blinds with cords or chains in the house, RoSPA advises that cords are kept tied up and out of the reach of young children using a cleat, cord tidy, clip or tie.
The Make it Safe leaflet was produced by the British Blind and Shutter Association, with which RoSPA is working on a wider blind cord safety campaign.
More than £3,300 was donated by businesses at the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards gala dinner in Glasgow last year. The funds are being split between a road safety project and the Make it Safe initiative, which will benefit a further 12,000 families.
Other Scottish local authorities taking part in the campaign include West Lothian, the Western Isles, West Dunbartonshire and East Lothian .