Strangulation Deaths Prompt Wave of Window Shade Recalls
Yesterday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a wave of recalls resulting from strangulation deaths of children caught in the cords of multiple makes of window blinds.
The basic risk common to these recalls is that the blinds' cords, or beaded chains, particularly if freestanding, pose a danger to children who can get caught in them and be strangled. In particular, freestanding beaded cords from roller style and vertical blinds, along with cords attached to "Roman style" shades have been targeted as a strangulation risk.
In order of the number of units being recalled, here are the six recalls issued today:
- Woolrich Roman Shades and ¼" Oval Roll-up Blinds, sold exclusively at Target and imported from China by Lewis Hyman Inc. This involves a total of almost 5 million units. A cord from the roll-up blinds is known to have killed one child. Another child was strangled by the cord of the Roman Shades. All of the Roman Shades are being recalled, as well as the roll-up shades that do not have a release clip for the cord. For more information, see the CPSC recall notice.
- Roller Shades distributed by distributed by Lutron Electronics Co. Inc. and sold by specialty dealers and Expo Design Centers nationwide. No incidents have been reported. 245,000 units are being recalled. For more details, see the CPSC recall notice.
- Thermal Sailcloth and Matchstick Bamboo Roman Shade, sold at Target and imported from China by Victoria Classics. No incidents have been reported. 163,000 units are being recalled. For more details, see the CPSC recall notice.
- Melina Roman Blinds, sold at Ikea and manufactured in Taiwan. One near strangulation has been reported. All 120,000 units are being recalled. For more details, see the CPSC recall notice.
- Roman Shades, sold through Pottery Barn Kids catalog and on Pottery Barn's website and manufactured in China and Hong Kong. One near strangulation has been reported. All 85,000 units are being recalled. For more details, see the CPSC recall notice.
- Horizontal Blinds, Vertical Blinds and Cellular Shades made by Vertical Land Inc. and sold at Vertical Land stores in Florida. In 2006, a child died by strangulation in the cord of a set of the vertical blinds. A total of 30,000 units are being recalled. For details, see the CPSC recall notice.
- Parents for Window Blind Safety
- Easy Steps to Prevent Window-Cord Accidents [pdf] (Window Covering Safety Council)
- Educators and Child Care Providers Urged to Check Window Coverings (Reuters)
- Personal Injuries from Dangerous or Defective Products (provided by Ingram Law Office)
- Wrongful Death of a Child or Elderly Person (provided by Gerash Steiner & Toray PC)