Millions of shades, blinds recalled due to safety risk - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Millions of shades, blinds recalled due to safety risk

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WASHINGTON. - The Consumer Product Safety Commission is recalling more than 5 million window shades and blinds that the commission says pose an immediate threat to children.

Across the country three children have died and seven others have nearly been strangled to death by the shades or blinds.

The problem is with the cords on the blinds and shades that can come loose, providing enough of a 'noose' to strangle a child.

The recall affects blinds sold under various names by Ikea, Pottery Barn Kids, Target, Expo Design Center and Vertical Land stores.

The problems on different types of blinds are as follows:

Horizontal Blinds: The blinds do not have inner cord stop devices to prevent the accessible inner cords from being pulled out. If an inner cord is pulled out, a child can become entangled in the loop and strangle.

Vertical Blinds: Strangulations can occur if a child's neck becomes entangled on the free-standing loop formed by the bead chain or by the cord with a weighted device.

Cellular Shades: Strangulations can occur if a child's neck becomes entangled on the shade's free-standing looped cord.

Roman Shades (Target): Strangulations can occur when a child places his/her neck between the exposed inner cord and the fabric on the backside of the blind or when a child pulls the cord out and wraps it around his/her neck. Exposed operating cords can knot or tangle creating a strangulation loop.

Roman Shades (Pottery Barn): There have been six reports of children becoming entangled in the exposed inner cord on the back of the shade between March 2006 and July 2008. Four children were found with cords entangled around their necks. Scissors were used to release two of these children. Two children were found with red marks around their necks after having freed themselves. No permanent injuries were sustained.

Roman Blinds: CPSC received a report of a 2-year-old boy who suffered a near strangulation. His mother found him hanging from the looped bead chain.

"Parents need to understand that these are hidden dangers, that a child can get entangled or strangled on these cords very quickly," said Inez Tenenbaum of the CPSC.

Manufacturers are already designing child-proof blinds and shades, but retailers say the recalled shades should be returned or repaired now.

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