CPSC Recalls All Roll-Up Blinds and Roman Shades After 9 Child Deaths

Federal regulators and the window covering industry are recalling an estimated 50 million Roman shades and roll-up blinds, after reports of at least nine incidents of children being strangled by the cords since 2001.

The massive recall, announced December 15, was made in a joint statement by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC). The Council is attempting to provide free repair kits for anyone with one of the recalled blinds.

The design-wide recalls come in the wake of five deaths and 16 near-strangulation reports involving Roman shades since 2006, and three deaths involving roll-up blinds since 2001. Both designs have loose cords and strings that can become entangled around a child’s neck.

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The recalls are the culmination of a number of Roman shade and pull-up blind recalls which have been announced by CPSC with regular frequency over at least the last year.

Nearly a dozen specific products were recalled on Tuesday in connection with the overall roll-up blinds and Roman shades recall. Even though only a few million shades were specifically mentioned in recalls, the CPSC estimates that about five million Roman shades and three million roll-up blinds are sold each year. All of them are being recalled.

The products specifically mentioned in recall notices on posted Tuesday included:

  • More than 2.2 million J.C. Penny Roman shades and 340 J.C. Penny roll-up blinds, which nearly strangled at least two children this year. [Recall Notice]
  • 600,000 Wal-Mart roll-up blinds and 500,000 Wal-Mart Roman shades sold through Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club. [Recall Notice]
  • About 290,000 All Strong Roman Shades, which were connected to the death of a 16-month boy in Ohio in February 2007 who strangled after pulling the shade into his crib.  [Recall Notice]
  • About 250,000 Oval roll-up blinds sold at Ace Hardware and Big Lots.  [Recall Notice]
  • About 2,000 “Weren’t Built in a Day” Roman shades sold exclusively at The Land of Nod stores. [Recall Notice]
  • About 355,000 Deluxe Matchstick roll-up shades sold exclusively at Big Lots.  [Recall Notice]
  • More than 350,000 Roman shades and Paxton Roller shades sold at the Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and PBTeens. The Roman shades were involved in one near-strangulation of a three-year-old earlier this year.  [Recall Notice]
  • About 42,000 Jute/Poly roman shades sold exclusively at West Elm.  [Recall Notice]
  • About 1,800 Roman shades sold by Draper Inc., sold at window covering dealers nationwide.  [Recall Notice]
  • An additional 6,300 Newport Energy Solution Roman shades sold at Ross Stores have been recalled, following a recall of 364,000 of the shades in October 2009. The shades were involved in at least two injuries.  [Recall Notice 1] and [Recall Notice 2]

The CPSC and WCSC recommend that anyone who has these shades and blinds, and who have children or regular child visitors in the same home, contact the WCSC immediately for a free repair kit at www.windowcoverings.org.

In addition, the organizations recommend that consumers examine all shades and blinds in the home and make certain there are no accessible loose cords. They should also be sure not to place cribs, beds and furniture close to windows where children can climb onto them and gain access to the cords. Looped bead chains and nylon cords should use tension devices to keep cords taut.

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