Risk of Strangulation Results in Recall

By: Allison Lane

Since 2006, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported five deaths and 16 near strangulations related to Roman-style shades and roll-up blinds. These blinds become hazardous when the cord is exposed to a child’s reach. There are numerous ways these cords are hazardous, but the most common dangers occur if the shade’s looped cord is not attached to the wall or floor, and then a child’s neck can become entangled in the free standing loop.

There are alternatives to roll-up blinds, such as plantation shutters, automatic blinds, and cordless window coverings. While some of the alternatives may be more expensive, it is crucial to protect the safety of the children in your home. As the number of lawsuits increase, we as consumers have to take the initiative to make changes to protect our families. Prior to an accident occurring in your home, be certain that you are making every reasonable effort to remove all items that may be harmful to children. Examine all of the blinds in your home and remove or hide any cord that can be easily reached. At the very least, move all of your furniture, cribs and children’s toys away from the windows so the cords are less accessible to children.

Multiple retailers are participating in this recall please see www.windowcoverings.org for more information. If you, a family member or friend are faced with any tragedy or near tragedy associated with these blinds, please contact Balkan & Patterson.

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