Over the past several years the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has received numerous reports of near strangulation and deaths associated with the use of Roman shades and roll up blinds. In fact since 2006 the agency has received reports of 5 deaths and 16 near strangulations related to Roman shades alone. An additional three deaths have been reported in association with various types of roll up blinds since 2001.
In response the CPSC in cooperation with the Window Covering Safety Council and multiple vendors have issued a recall to repair millions of Roman shades and roll up blinds due strangulation hazards they pose to young children.
Strangulations in Roman shades can occur when a child places his/her neck between the exposed inner cord and the fabric on the backside of the blind or when a child pulls the cord out and wraps it around his/her neck. Strangulations in roll-up blinds can occur if the lifting loop slides off the side of the blind and a child’s neck becomes entangled on the free-standing loop or if a child places his/her neck between the lifting loop and the roll-up blind material.
Customers that have Roman shades or roll up shades in their homes should contact the WCSC as soon as possible at www.windowcoverings.org or toll free by phone at (800) 506-4636 to obtain a free repair kit.
To help prevent child strangulation in window coverings, CPSC and the WCSC urge parents and caregivers to follow these guidelines:
- Examine all shades and blinds in the home. Make sure there are no accessible cords on the front, side, or back of the product. CPSC and the WCSC recommend the use of cordless window coverings in all homes where children live or visit.
- Do not place cribs, beds, and furniture close to the windows because children can climb on them and gain access to the cords.
- Make loose cords inaccessible.
- If the window shade has looped bead chains or nylon cords, install tension devices to keep the cord taut.
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