Be Advised: More Than 50 Million Blinds and Shades Recalled

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO/CNN) -  The Consumer Product Safety Commission is expected to announce they'll recall about 50-million Roman blinds because they pose a suffocation hazard for children.
The recall involves window coverings that can form a loop and cause strangulation. According to information provided by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, since 1990, more than 200 infants and young children have died from accidentally strangling in window cords.

The blinds were sold at retailers including Wal-Mart, JCPenney, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Ace Hardware, Big Lots, Ross, and The Land of Nod.

Consumers can obtain free retrofit kits for roman style fabric looped and flat panel shades and roll up blinds online at or by calling WCSC's toll-free phone line at 1-800-506-4636.

To maximize window-cord safety when young children are present, consumers are urged to follow these safety guidelines:
  • Install only cordless window coverings in homes with young children. Replace window blinds, corded shades and draperies manufactured before 2001 with today's safer products.
  • Move all cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from windows and window cords, preferably to another wall.
  • Keep all window pull cords and inner lift cords out of the reach of children.  Make sure that tasseled pull cords are short and continuous-loop cords are permanently anchored to the floor or wall.  Make sure cord stops are properly installed and adjusted to limit movement of inner lift cords.
  • Lock cords into position whenever horizontal blinds or shades are lowered, including when they come to rest on a windowsill. 

Here's how the recall affects blinds bought at major retailers:

JCPenney: The department store is recalling 2.2 million Roman shades and 340 roll-up blinds that were sold in stores, in catalogs and on the retailer's Web site since at least 1999 through October 2009 for between $10 and $500.

CPSC said JCPenney is aware of 2 separate instances in which a 2-year-old girl became entangled in the cord at the back of a Roman shade. Neither incidents left permanent injuries.

Wal-Mart: The discount retailer is working with the CPSC to recall 500,000 Roman shades and 600,000 roll-up blinds that were sold between January 1999 and September 2009 for between $6 and $30.

No incidents or injuries have been reported resulting from blinds sold at Wal-Mart stores.

Consumers with bamboo roll-up blinds in particular should take their blinds to Wal-Mart stores for a full refund.

Pottery Barn: The home goods retailer is recalling 305,000 Roman shades, after recalling 85,000 of them in August. In June, a 3-year old boy was caught by the inner cord of a Pottery Barn Roman shade. He has since recovered from a thin laceration around his neck, CPSC said.

The Roman shades were sold at all Pottery Barn stores and their Web sites from January 1998 through October 2009 for between $25 and $180.

Pottery Barn is also recalling 45,000 roller shades which can also pose the risk of strangulation if the shade's looped cord is not attached to the wall with the tension device provided.

The roller shades were sold through the Pottery Barn catalog and online from January 2003 through October 2009 for between $100 and $120.

Consumers can contact Pottery Barn at 800-492-1949 or its Web site for a free repair kit.


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