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ALERT – 50 Million Window Blinds Recalled Following Child Deaths

rub.jpgIt is a recall of near historic proportions and comes after the deaths of eight children and the near-strangulation of 16 others. This morning Good Morning America (GMA) on ABC announced a voluntary recall negotiated by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in concert with the US window blind industry.

The recall involves practically every Roman and roller shade on the market due to a strangulation hazard involving the control cords.

About 50 million sets have been recalled.

The enemies in these blinds are the cords that hang down and can entrap a toddler. Five children have died and 16 others have been injured after becoming entangled in the cords of Roman blinds. Three children have died from strangulation involving the cords on roll-up blinds.

There are reportedly repair kits that consumers can access. The CPSC also notes that some blinds are designed with cords that will break away when stressed akin to a child becoming entangled. Other blind designs have no cord at all, but operate simply with manual pressure to the blind.

A spokesperson for the CPSC indicated that in the agency’s view the products encompassed by the recall should have been safer in the first place and probably should not have been sold given the entrapment hazard.

GMA noted this morning that numerous retailers are conducting their own recalls in tandem with the CPSC recall. Wal-Mart has issued a recall for more than a million blinds—500,000 Roman shades and another 600,000 roll-up blinds. JC Penny, meanwhile has recalled in excess of 2.2 million Roman shades and the Pottery Barn has clawed back 305,000 Roman shades and about 45,000 roll-up shades.

The CPSC is recommending parents use only cordless blinds in any home where there are children present.

The CPSC urged owners of Roman blinds or roll-up shades to call the Window Covering Safety Council for information on the repair kit at (800) 506-4636 or visit Consumers can also buy roll-up blinds with a breakaway device that gives way if a child is caught in the cord, or use blinds that do not have cords at all.

The Pottery Barn urged owners to “immediately stop using” the recalled blinds and contact Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids or PBTeen or call the Pottery Barn at (800) 492-1949 to receive a free repair kit.

Keeping Your Kids Safe:

To help prevent child strangulation in window coverings, the CPSC and the WCSC provided the following guidelines for parents and caregivers to follow:

Take a good look at all shades and blinds in the home and make sure there aren’t any accessible cords on the front, side, or back of the blinds. The CPSC and the WCSC recommended using cordless window coverings in all homes where children live or visit.

Do not place cribs, beds and furniture close to the windows. Do not give children a chance to climb on them and gain access to the cords.

Make loose cords inaccessible to children.

If the window shade has looped bead chains or nylon cords, you can install tension devices to keep the cord taut.

(Moshe Altusky – YWN / ABC News)

One Response

  1. These blinds have been around for years. Losing a child in any way is awful. I’m glad to hear there is a better design. BTW There have been other “victims” also. When I was a teenager, a friend’s young cat was killed playing with a roll up shade cord.

    Ever since, any apartment I moved into which had them, I would install a cleat on the window frame, and wind up all the extra cord, which ever way the shade was set. Every time, no lose cords.

    True, when the shade is down- between the cleat and the shade, pulling would still allow enough slack to be dangerous- but installing it on the upper part of the window frame makes it harder to reach, and makes the cord FAR LESS likely to attract interest in the first place.

    Of course the cleat itself had to be carefully installed where it wouldn’t poke some one.
    This is better.

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