WASHINGTON (AP) - The government and the window covering industry are recallingmore than 50 million Roman-style shades and roll-up blinds becauseof the risk children may be strangled by the cords.
The ConsumerProduct Safety Commission says five deaths and 16near-strangulations from Roman shades have been reported since2006, while three deaths connected to roll-up blinds have beenreported since 2001.
Roman shades can become dangerous, the CPSC said, if a child'sneck gets stuck between the exposed inner cord and the fabric onthe backside of the blind, or if the cord gets wrapped around achild's neck.
Roll-up blinds pose a strangulation threat if the lifting loopslides off the side of the blind and a child's neck becomesentangled on it, or if a child neck's gets between the lifting loopand the roll-up blind material.
The commission and the industry urged parents to examine allshades and blinds in the home and make sure they have no accessiblecords. They also advised parents not to place cribs, beds or otherfurniture close to windows because children can climb on thefurniture and reach the cords.
Cordless window coverings are recommended for all homes wherechildren live or visit.
Several major retailers, including Wal-Mart, JCPenney andPottery Barn, are also participating in the recall.
Consumers can obtain free retrofit kits for Roman shades androll-up blinds online at www.windowcoverings.org or by calling theWindow Covering Safety Council toll-free at 1-800-506-4636.
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