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More than 50 Million Roman-Style and Roll-Up Blinds Recalled Following Strangulation Injuries and Deaths

To prevent infant and toddler strangulation injuries and death, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is recalling all Roman and roll-up blinds. More than 50 million blinds (27 million roll-up blinds and 25 million Roman shades) are affected by the recall, which is one of the largest in the agency’s history. The Window Covering Safety Council is joining the CPSC’s efforts to get repair kits to consumers.
16 near strangulations and five fatalities involving Roman shades have been reported since 2006. A child can get hurt by either wrapping the shade’s cord around the neck or putting her/his neck between the back of the blind and the exposed inner cord.

The roll-up blinds have been cited as a cause of three deaths in the past eight years. Strangulation can occur if a child inserts her/his neck between the roll-up material and the lifting loop or if the neck gets caught on the free standing loop.
These latest fatalities and injuries occurred after the CPSC recalled 85 million window blinds in 2000. Most of the blinds were vertical and Venetian blinds and that is when more roll-up and Roman window coverings became more popular. Roll-up and window blinds are also cheaper and considered more attractive.
The CPSC says that vertical and Venetian blind makers improved their standards following the 2000 recall, but manufacturers did not act quickly enough to create better standards for roll-up blinds and Roman shades.
Strangulation injuries and deaths by window blinds and shades are not new occurrences and over the years the CPSC has recalled batches of these products. Why then are manufacturers not doing more to make sure these tragic accidents don’t happen? Our furniture products liability lawyers and our child injury attorneys represent families whose children were injured or killed because of defective or dangerous furniture.
Window Covering Safety Council is offering a number of safety guidelines for protecting kids from the hazards presented by window blinds and shades:

  • Use cordless window coverings.
  • Replace draperies, shades with cords, and blinds made before 2001.
  • Keep window cords away from children’s reach.
  • Ensure that cords within their reach are properly secured and cannot be easily freed.
  • Keep beds, cribs, sofas, tables, and toys away from windows that have blinds or shades that come with cords.

Window Covering Safety Council Recalls to Repair All Roman and Roll-Up Blinds Due to Risk of Strangulation, CPSC, December 15, 2009
Window Covering Safety Council
Related Web Resources:
Children continue dying as window coverings causing strangulation stay up, KATU.com, August 26, 2009
Strangulation & Suffocation, Parents.com

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