Baby deaths prompt stricter rules on cords

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Baby deaths prompt stricter rules on cords

The government will strengthen safety regulations on vertical blinds after reported cases of young children being strangled to death while playing with unsecured cords.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Korea Agency for Technology and Standards said Thursday that they would revise safety standards on window blinds.

The cords will be required to disconnect when pulled by a force weighing 6 kilograms (13 pounds) or more, about the weight of a 6-month-old. This is a drop from the current minimum requirement of 10 kilograms, the average weight of a 15-month-old.

Additionally, the length of the cords, previously unregulated, will now have to be at least 80 centimeters (2.6 feet), the average height of a 9-month-old, to prevent kids from getting caught on the string.

Between 2013 and last year, there have been four cases of children strangled to death by window blind cords, according to the Korea Consumer Agency. All four were 7 years old or younger.

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