Lowe’s Shades and Blinds Recall Issued After Two Children Nearly Strangle

About 11 million Roman shades and roll-up blinds are being recalled by Lowe’s after two children nearly strangled.  This is the latest in a series of Roman shades and blinds recalls issued due to a risk that young children may become entangled in loose cords.

The Lowe’s shades and blinds recall was announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on December 1 after the commission became aware of two incidents where children nearly strangled in Lowe’s Roman shades. One 2-year-old Colorado boy got the inner cord wrapped around his arm and neck in November 2009, and in July 2010 a 4-year-old from South Carolina became entangled and suffered rope burn. In both cases the boys were attempting to look out the window when they became caught in the shades’ cords.

The recall affects about 6 million Roman shades and 5 million roll-up blinds sold by Lowe’s. That includes the company’s entire inventory of Roman shades and roll-up blinds except for Roman shades with repair kits and roll-up blinds with release clips.

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The window coverings were sold at Lowe’s stores and other retails stores, as well as online at www.lowes.com from 1999 through June 2010 for the Roman shades, and from 1999 through January 2005 for the roll-up blinds. The window coverings were sold from between $10 and $1,800.

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. 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 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 www.windowcoverings.org for free repair kits.

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