This week the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled over 50 million Roman shades and roll-up blinds – one of the five largest recalls in the commission’s history. The recall was prompted by reports of 5 deaths and 16 near strangulations of young children since 2006. The cords on both styles of blinds and shades can get caught around a child’s neck.
The blinds and shades were sold at numerous retailers, including Walmart, JCPenney, Pottery Barn, Ace Hardware, Big Lots, Ross, and many other stores.
The CPSC made the announcement with the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) and has been working with the Council to ensure the safety of window coverings. Consumers with Roman or roll-up shades should contact the WCSC immediately at www.windowcoverings.org to receive a free repair kit.
To help prevent a child from the strangulation risk, the CPSC and the WCSC made the following recommendations to parents and caregivers:
- Examine all shades and blinds in homes to ensure there are no exposed cords in a child’s reach. Cordless window coverings are recommended.
- Do not place cribs, beds, and furniture close to windows where children could climb and have access to cords.
- Make any loose cords inaccessible. If there are looped bead chains or nylon cords, install tension devices to keep cords taut.