The Consumer Product Safety Commission is recalling 50 million Roman shades and roll-up blinds as the result of several accidental child strangulations.
Roman shades are being recalled in response to 21 children who had become entangled in the space between the inner cord and the shade fabric – with 5 children having been strangled to death – since 2006.
The cords of roll-up blinds, which can snare children’s necks, have large loops at their ends. Three children have died from being strangled by the loops of roll-up blinds since 2000.
The CPSC noted that the recall affects about 25 million Roman shades and 27 million roll-up blinds, with 5 and 3 million sold each year, respectively. In addition, the CPSC is working with the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) to develop repair kits that will be sold at major retailers. The repair will substitute rings for the cord of Roman shades, and provide a device that will separate the cord in roll-up blinds "if a force equal to a baby’s head is applied."
The CPSC is hoping that the recall will push the industry in a new direction that will see an increase in development standards that will lead to safer products.
For a free repair kit, consumers can contact the Window Covering Safety Council at www.windowcoverings.org or call (800) 506-4636.