Government safety regulators and the window-covering industry have recalled all Roman shades and roll-up blinds in homes with small children. The concern is that a child can easily become entangled in the cords and strangle to death. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says that about 50 million window coverings need to be repaired to make them safe for children. About 5 million Roman shades and 3 million roll-up blinds are sold each year. A reported eight children have died and 16 were nearly strangled in window-covering cords since 2001.
Strangulations in Roman shades can occur when a child places his neck between the exposed inner cord and the fabric on the backside of the blind or when a child wraps the cord around his neck. With roll-up blinds, the hazard occurs when a child’s neck becomes entangled in the lifting loop. These are hidden dangers. A child can get entangled or strangled on these cords very quickly, according to Inez Tenenbaum, CPSC Chairman.
Some of country’s biggest retailers are impacted by this recall, as these blinds and shades are commonly sold at Wal-Mart, Pottery Barn, IKEA and Target. Customers that have Roman or roll-up shades in their homes should contact the Window Covering Safety Council immediately at www.windowcoverings.org or by calling (800) 506-4636 anytime to receive a free repair kit to make the window coverings safe.
The CPSC says anyone with young children should remove any blinds or shades that have cords attached. They also advised parents not to place cribs, beds or other furniture close to windows because children can climb on the furniture and reach the cords. Cordless window coverings are recommended for all homes where children live or visit.
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