Over 50 million Roman-style shades and roll-up blinds have been recalled due to the risk of children becoming trapped and strangled in the cords.
The CPSC said five deaths and 16 near-strangulations from Roman shades have been reported since 2006, while three deaths connected to roll-up blinds have been reported since 2001. There have been several recalls and alerts within the last few years.
A child’s neck can get stuck between the exposed inner cord and the fabric on the backside of the roman shade, or the cord can become wrapped around a child’s neck.
Roll-up blinds also pose a strangulation threat if the lifting loop slides off the side of the blind and a child’s neck becomes entangled, or if a child neck gets between the lifting loop and the roll-up blind material.
The CPSC and the window blinds industry urges parents to examine all shades and blinds in the home and to make sure they do not have accessible cords. Parents and caretakers are also advised not to place cribs, beds or other furniture close to windows because children can climb onto the furniture and reach the cords.
Cordless window coverings are recommended for all homes where children live or visit.
Consumers can obtain free retrofit kits for the recalled Roman shades and roll-up blinds online at https://www.windowcoverings.org or by calling the Window Covering Safety Council toll-free at 1-800-506-4636.