Toddler dies after choking on blind cord in cot

Police are investigating the death of a toddler who choked in his cot on a cord attached to a vertical blind at his family’s home north of Newcastle.

The boy’s mother raised the alarm yesterday at the house at Mallabula.

The toddler was flown by helicopter in a critical condition to Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital, but he died after arrival.

Port Stephens police are preparing a report for the coroner.

A post-mortem examination will be carried out in Newcastle today.

The incident has prompted a warning by child safety organisation Kidsafe NSW that parents check for choking hazards around their homes.

Spokeswoman Christine Erskine says such deaths are now a rare occurrence, but parents need to be vigilant about choking hazards, particularly older style blinds with long swinging cords.

“What’s recommended is that you dismantle the bottom of those vertical blinds,” she said.

“So take those cords out or attach them securely to the floor or base of the window, so that you can’t actually get trapped in them.”