The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is recalling millions of Roman blinds and roll-up shades because they pose a risk of strangulation in small children. The blinds were sold between January 1998 and October 2009 in a wide range of stores across the country including Walmart, Pottery Barn, J.C. Penny, Ace Hardware, Big Lots and other specialty window covering dealers. Consumers should stop using these shades and blinds immediately. If you have Roman or roll-up shades, contact the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) for a free repair kit at (800) 506-4636 anytime or visit www.windowcoverings.org.
To help prevent child strangulation in window coverings, the CPSC and WCSC urge parents and caregivers to follow these guidelines:
• Examine all shades and blinds in the home. Make sure there are no accessible cords on the front, side, or back of the product. The CPSC and WCSC recommend the use of cordless window coverings in all homes where children live or visit.
• Do not place cribs, beds, and furniture close to the windows because children can climb on them and gain access to the cords.
• Make loose cords inaccessible.
• If the window shade has looped bead chains or nylon cords, install tension devices to keep the cord taut.
Visit the CPSC Web site for more information about the recalls affecting specific window blinds and shades.