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Blinds cause massive recall due to small child strangulation potential

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James E. Ballidis
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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, www.cpsc.gov this week issued an immediate recall, along with the Window Covering Safety Council, of over 50 million Roman and Roll-Up Blinds due to strangulation risks. With 3 deaths and 16 near strangulations the time for immediate action was needed.
Strangulations with Roman shades 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. Strangulations in roll-up blinds can occur if the lifting loop slides off the side of the blind and a child’s neck becomes entangled on the free-standing loop or if a child places his/her neck between the lifting loop and the roll-up blind material.
Sadly, this week’s recall came too late for a little boy named Brandyn. Although he was a normal three year old toddler, he loved to sit by the window and watch the “big kids” go to school each day. One day while Brandyn’s older brother was babysitting, he left the room for a moment and when he returned, Brandyn had gotten tangled in the shade.
Unfortunately, the recall doesn’t include all of the blinds and shades that have injured and killed hundreds of children and toddlers since 2000. The national grass roots advocacy organization, Parents for Window Blind Safety, www.windowblindskillchildre.org/  is fighting for a total recall of unsafe blinds to keep children safe. There has been recall after recall in this industry and it is not the answer. Better solutions are needed before other children are seriously injured or killed.
The group has created a seal of approval that certifies and stamps the seal when they conclude that the product is safe. Together with the CPSC and other experts, the board from PWBS analyses each product. Many manufacturers have made improvements with their products but even if you bought your blinds after 2001, look for the seal of approval.
The group also recommends alternative window coverings such as Redi-Shades (cordless shades), shutters, vinyl roller shades, no-tie curtains, tiers and window film. All of these options provide a safer environment for your young child.
Visit www.windowcoverings.org/  for a free repair kit if you have purchased either one of these blinds at Wal-Mart, JCPenney, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Ace Hardware, Big Lots or Ross. Additionally, you can call (800)-506-4636.
In addition to your free repair kit at the WCSC, please review the following safety information provided:
·    Basic Cord Safety
·    How to Retrofit
·    Ordering free Retrofit Kit
·    Safety & Design Tips

Brandyn’s family has removed all blinds and shades from their home. Don’t let this happen to you and your family. Either retrofit your blinds or remove them!

Category: General

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