Today the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a recall affecting more than 50 million Roman shades and roll-up blinds due to a strangulation hazard for children. Strangulation can occur with Roman shades when a child places their neck in between the cord loop and the fabric of the shade, or if a child pulls out the cord and wraps it around their neck. Strangulation can occur with roll-up blinds if the loop slides off the blind and a child’s neck becomes entrapped in it, or if a child places their neck between the loop and the blind material. The CPSC is aware of 21 incidents involving roman shades and roll-up blinds since 2006 in which 5 children died from strangulation and 16 others experienced near-strangulation.

The recall affects Roman shades and roll-up blinds sold at major retailers including JCPenney, Walmart, Ace Hardware, and Pottery Barn. The Window Covering Safety Council is offering a free repair kit to all owners of these products, available at (800) 506-4636 or online at Parents and caregivers should remove these products immediately until repairs have been made. The best way to protect children from the risk of strangulation is to only use cordless window coverings in homes with young children and childcare settings.

As always, report any incidents or injuries related to window coverings to CPSC. More information about window blind safety is available at Parents for Window Blind Safety.