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Are your window blinds hazardous to kids?

Millions of shades and blinds are being recalled. Here's what you should know.

By Karen Datko Dec 16, 2009 3:25PM

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The potential hazard of strangulation to young children has prompted the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Window Covering Safety Council to announce an industrywide recall involving millions of Roman-style shades and roll-up blinds.


The recall involves window coverings that can form a loop and cause strangulation. Here's what you can do if you have these shades or blinds in your home.


Consumers can order free retrofit kits for Roman fabric looped and flat-panel shades and roll-up blinds online at or by calling the WCSC's toll-free phone line at (800) 506-4636. Some products, however, should be returned. (You can find a list of the affected products and specific instructions here.)


In homes where young children are present, families should follow these 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.

"Parents need to understand that these are hidden dangers, that a child can get entangled or strangled on these cords very quickly," CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum said in an interview on NBC's "Today" program.


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