New Report of Toddler Death From Roman Shade Cord Leads to Recall

More than half a million Hanover Direct Roman shades and roll-up blinds have been recalled after a toddler strangled to death in a pull cord.

The Hanover Direct recall was announced on November 10 by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) after a 22-month-old boy in Cedar Falls, Iowa was found hanging in the loop of the outer pull cords of one of the company’s Roman shades in May. The boy’s father attempted to save him, however the child died later at the hospital.

The death is at least the second child strangulation linked to Roman shades made by Hanover Direct, which is also known as Domestications, The Company Store and Company Kids. In March 2008, a recall of 90,000 Hanover Direct Faux Suede Roman Shades was issued after a 2-year-old boy in Ocean View, Delaware, who got tangled in the cords after climbing up on a toy chest to look out of the window.

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In December 2009, a number of manufacturers agreed to a voluntary recall of about 50 million Roman shades and roll-up blinds due to the increasing number of child strangulation deaths. With the death in May, at least 10 children have been strangled by cords hanging from the shades and blinds designs since 2001.

The CPSC warns that strangulations can happen with Roman shades, roller blinds and roll-up blinds when a child gets their neck into the loops of hanging cords or between the cords and the shade or blind.

The latest shades and blinds recall affects about 495,000 Roman shades and 28,500 roll-up and roller blinds by Hanover Direct, Inc. The recall includes all styles of Roman shades with inner cords, all styles of roll-up blinds and roller blinds that lack a tension device, which attaches to the continuous loop bead chain or cord and is installed into the wall or floor.

The shades and blinds were sold at Hanover Direct/Domestications, the Company Store/Company Kids, through catalog sales, and online at and from January 1996 through October 2009 for between $20 and $579.

The CPSC recommends that consumers immediately stop using all Roman shades with inner cords, all roll-up blinds and all roller blinds that do not have a tension device regardless of manufacturer. Consumers should examine all shades and blinds in their homes and make sure there are no accessible cords on the front, side or back of the product. The CPSC recommends the use of cordless window coverings in homes where children live or visit.

Consumers who still want to use the devices can contact the Window Covering Safety Council at for free repair kits.


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