Do you have a deadly product in your house – that looks like a harmless window treatment? You might. This week, six different window treatment manufacturers recalled a total of 5.5 million potentially defective window shades and window blinds after three children accidentally hung themselves in the chord’s loop. These strangulation deaths are caused when the shades’ chords reaches low enough to the ground that a small child or toddler can entangle himself in the strings.
Most recently, a four-year-old girl was strangled in her home by the chord of a vertical bind that was not attached to the floor. In 2007, a one-year-old baby was killed when a blind chord fell into his crib.
Although the blinds feature a warning sticker to alert parents to the danger of the chords, the window treatment companies decided to go ahead with the recall. The recall, issued by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), is voluntary. While some blinds can be made safe with a simple repair kit, others will need to be returned in exchange for a refund. The blinds come in both vertical and horizontal varieties.
The blinds have been sold nationally at a number of large chains, including Pottery Barn, Ikea, and Target.
On average, one child each month dies after becoming entangled in a dangerous blind chord.
“The CPSC works to recall products as quickly as we can,” CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson said. “When there is a fatality, especially a child, it is of the utmost concern to the agency.”