Some hazards are obviously dangerous to kids – the Drano under the sink, a pot of boiling water on the stove, or a car backing out of the driveway. Those are things we as parents intuitively know can be dangerous to our kids, so we take precautions such as cabinet locks and stove guards to protect them.
Not all hazards are so obvious, but they can be just as dangerous. Window blinds are a great example. They seem innocent enough, and it certainly doesn’t seem like a child could hurt himself (or herself) if left alone with one. Yet, the cords on certain window blinds can present a serious strangulation hazard to young children. Over the years, hundreds of boys and girls have been seriously injured and even killed by becoming entangled and then strangled by window blind cords.
On Thursday, the CPSC issued two recall alerts. Popular furniture maker IKEA is recalling its IRIS and ALVINE Roman Blinds, and Green Mountain Vista Inc of Williston, Vt. is recalling its Insulated Black-Out Roller Shades and Insulated Roman Shades. This past April, a one year old girl in Greenwich, Ct.tragically died as a result of strangulation by the cord of an IKEA blind. She was found in her playpen with the cord from a nearby fully lowered blind wrapped twice around her neck. This past June, a two year old girl from Bristol, Ct, was nearly strangled by a Green Mountain Vista blind when she placed a cord loop around her neck and then fell. Luckily, she was saved by her brother.
The IKEA shades were sold at its stores nationwide for between $7 and $30 from July 2005 through June 2008. The Green Mountain Vista shades were sold nationwide for between $60 and $200 at the following stores: Target.com, Plow & Hearth, Country
Curtain Shop of Maine, Sturbridge, Yankee
Workshop, Ann & Hope, The Linen Source, Solutions Catalog, and The Sportsman’s Guide.
IKEA’s recall states that users should return the blinds to one of its stores for a full refund. Green Mountain says that users should check their blinds to see if the tensioning device is still attached. If it’s not, they should contact Green Mountain Vista at (800) 639- 1728 or go to its website.
For window blind safety, I found a great site — the Window Covering Safety Council. I highly recommend checking out this site and then checking your window coverings. Here are basic safety tips from their website:
Install only cordless window coverings in young children’s bedrooms and sleeping areas. 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.
If you have any questions or need more information, please email Bryan Slaughter.