A child can die silently and within seconds was the message at the launch of a DVD and workshop to highlight the dangers of blind cords.
The workshop was dedicated to little Bryan Saba, who was strangled by a looped cord, and his family for their “bravery and generosity” in making the video.
In the interview, Maria Jose, wiping away tears, recalls how her “sweet and caring child” used to wait for her coming home from work, so she could bring him outside.
“He always wanted to be free, to jump and to play,” she said.
She relates how her son, who would have been three on Sunday, was left alone for a few seconds in the living room while his older sister went into the kitchen to wash up plates they had been using.
“She heard nothing,” Maria Jose said. “I was afraid of the stairs, the bathroom and the oven, but the place I thought was the safest was where our son died.
“We didn’t know of the danger of blind cords. We are trying to speak to people and inform them of the silent killer in our homes.”
The workshop, hosted by the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, was attended by around 40 people who have contact with families and young children, including trust staff and community and voluntary groups.
Data from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, which delivered the workshop, indicates that 31 children have died as a result of blind cord accidents in the UK between 1999-2015.
Nina Daly, accident prevention officer with the trust, said, “If a child’s neck gets entangled in a cord even for a few seconds they can be left permanently brain damaged or die.”
She said the video will be a lasting legacy to Bryan Saba and form part of the trust’s ongoing efforts to address blind cord accidents.