There’s nothing I find more senseless than children being seriously injured or dying as a result of a well known, and easily fixable, hazard. Last year, I wrote about the strangulation danger posed by a common household item — window blinds and shades. Since then, three more kids have died, and there is another recall. The recall covers 4.2 million roll-up blinds with plastic slats made by Lewis Hyman Inc.; 600,000 Woolrich Roman shades; blinds and shades made by Vertical Land Inc. of Panama City Beach, Fla.; Roman shades by Pottery Barn Kids/Williams-Sonoma Inc.; 245,000 Lutron Shading Solutions fabric roller shades; 163,000 Roman shades by Victoria Classics; and IKEA is recalling 120,000 MELINA Roman Blinds. The LA Times has a good article about the problem and the recall.
This is so infuriating. This problem has been recognized for decades, yet shades and blinds are still being produced with this dangerous problem. A group called Parents for Window Blind Safety has an informative website that focuses on correcting the danger. It also brings the tragedy home as it shows the many children who have died as a result of these products.
The best solution for parents is to purchase cordless blinds. Go here for available types, or ask for them at your local home improvement center. If you have purchased these blinds, go to the CPSC to find out what to do. At the very least, parents should cut cord loops of existing blinds in half, never leave your children unattended in a room with these blinds, and NEVER put a crib or play yard in the vicinity of a blind.