Yesterday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) announced a vast recall of every Roman shade and roll-up blind on the market…a total of 50 million.
Since 2006, the CPSC has obtained statements of 16 near-strangulations and five deaths associated with Roman shades. Roll-up blinds are targeted for three deaths since 2001, the agency reports. In addition, the WCSC said CPSC documents indicate more than 200 infants and young children have accidentally strangled to death in window cords since 1990.
The Roman shade can be deadly if a child places his/her neck between the exposed inner cord and fabric on the backside of the blind…also, if he/she wraps the cord around the neck.
Roll-up blinds pose a lethal situation if the neck is placed between the lifting loop and the blind material, or if the loop comes off the side of the blind. The child could become entangled in the loop.
Approximately 3 million roll-up blinds and a million Roman shades are sold every year in the U.S. to many retailers including huge chains such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., J.C. Penny Purchasing Corp., Pottery Barn, Big Lots, and West Elm.
This past October, the CPSC issued a safety warning to parents alerting them of potential danger involving window coverings.
Common sense should dictate but if not, the WCSC and CPSC are reminding parents and caregivers to:
–Make loose cords inaccessible
–Do not place cribs, beds, or furniture near windows with shades and cords
–Install tension devices if shades have nylon cords or looped bead chains
–Use cordless window coverings if possible