Strangulation Deaths Lead to Window Shades and Blinds Recalls

The deaths and injuries of several children have led to a number of recalls for window blinds and shades sold at Target, IKEA, Pottery Barn and other retailers.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the window shade and blind recalls on August 26, affecting more than 5.4 million units. All of the recalls were issued due to the risk that children may become entangled and strangle themselves.

At least three deaths and several near strangulation reports have been attributed to design defects with the recalled products, involving cords, beaded chains or drawstrings that can become looped around a child’s neack.

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The recalls include:

Target Roman Shades and Oval Roll-Up Blinds Recall: Approximately 4.2 million roll-up blinds and 600,000 Roman shades sold exclusively at Target stores. The Woolrich Roman Shades have two head rail labels that read “Lewis Hyman, Inc.,” and “LHI, 005301, Made in China.” They were sold between March 2006 and December 2008. The 1/4″ Oval roll-up blinds, which do not have a release clip, have a “Lewis Hyman, Inc.” label and the year of manufacture on the bottom rail, along with a warning against possible strangulation. They were sold between January 2009 and December 2003.

Ikea MELINA Roman Blinds Recall: Approximately 120,000 MELINA Roman Blinds sold exclusively at Ikea, which have a sewn-in label at the top edge with the IKEA logo and the article name (MELINA). They also have a five-digit supplier number, 19395 and a four-digit date stamp and the words “Made in Taiwan.” They were sold between August 2006 and June 2008.

Pottery Barn Kids Roman Shades Recall: Approximately 85,000 roman shades with exposed inner cords on the back have been recalled. They all have “pottery barn kids” on a label at the bottom edge of the shade and another label warning of the risk of strangulation. Roman shades with a fabric covering on the cords are not being recalled. They were sold between January 2003 and May 2007.

Roller Shades Recall: About 245,000 roller shades distributed by Lutron Electronics Co. Inc., which includes custom-ordered shades that have an adhesive strip connecting the shade to the roller tube and reads “Lutron Shading Solutions” and “800-446-1503.” They were sold through specialty dealers and Expo Design Centers between January 2000 and April 2009.

Target Thermal Sailcloth and Matchstick Bamboo Roman Shade Recall: Approximatey 163,00 shades imported by Victoria Classics, including brown Matchstick roman shades and thermal shades sold in coffee, red, ivory and tan colors. They were sold exclusively at Target and through between September 2008 and June 2009.

Vertical Land Blind and Shade Recall: Approximately 15,400 horizontal blinds, 16,400 vertical blinds and 800 cellular shades sold at Vertical Land stores in Panama City and Pensacola, Florida. The custom-made vertical and cellular window coverings that lack a cord tensioning device, and the horizontal blinds do not have inner cord stop devices. They were sold between January 1992 and December 2006.

The CPSC urges consumers to cease using these products immediately. They can contact the various manufacturers for refunds, vouchers and replacement kits.


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