Blinds Recalled Due to Strangulation Risk
Posted: January 21, 2010 at 1:35 pm
Cords From Roman-Style Shades and Roll-Up Blinds Could Be Risky for Children
The risk of strangulation in children has prompted the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Window Covering Safety Council to issue a voluntary recall today for more than 50 million Roman-style shades and roll-up blinds.
Five deaths and 16 near-strangulations have been reported since 2006 in Roman shades, the CPSC says in a news release; three deaths connected to roll-up blinds have been reported since 2001.
About 5 million Roman shades and some 3 million roll-up blinds are sold annually, according to the CPSC.
Strangulation in Roman shades can occur when children put their necks between exposed inner cords and the fabric on the backside of the blind, or when a child pulls the cord and wraps it around his or her neck, the CPSC says.
In roll-up blinds, strangulations can occur if the lifting loop slides off the side of the blind and a child's neck becomes entangled on the freestanding loop, or if a child puts his or her neck between the lifting loop and the roll-up blind material.
Many of the recalls are being made by major retailers, including Walmart, J.C. Penney, and Pottery Barn.
* Examine all shades and blinds in homes to make sure there are no accessible cords on the front, side, or back of the product. Both recommend the use of cordless window coverings in all homes where children live or visit.
* Do not place cribs, beds, and furniture near windows with the coverings.
* Make loose cords inaccessible.
* If window shades have looped bead chains or nylon cords, install devices to keep the cords taut.
More information, including photos of Roman shades and roll-up blinds, can be found at the CPSC web site.