December 15, 2009: Massive Recall of Roman Shades and Roll-Up Blinds
Many styles of Roman shades and roll-up blinds are included in this recall. Image here represents just one.
In order to prevent the risk of strangulation, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) have announced a sweeping recall to repair all Roman shades and roll-up blinds in homes with small children. This massive recall involves roughly 50 million shades and blinds. About five million Roman shades and about three million roll-up blinds are sold each year.
CPSC has received reports of five deaths and 16 near strangulations, since 2006, in Roman shades and three deaths, since 2001, in roll-up blinds. 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.
Do You Own These Blinds?
This recall includes all Roman shades and roll-up blinds in homes with small children. Certain companies and manufacturers have issued individual recalls, including:
- JC Penny
- All Strong Industry
- Lotus & Windoware (Sold exclusively at Ace Hardware and Big Lots)
- Matchstick Roll-Up Shades (Sold exclusively at Big Lots)
- Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, and PBTeens
- West Elm
- Draper Inc.
- Louis Hornick & Co. (Sold at Ross Stores)
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.
Whom to Contact
Consumers who have Roman shades or roll-up blinds in their homes should contact the WCSC immediately at www.windowcoverings.org or by calling (800) 506-4636 at any time to receive a free repair kit.
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