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.
Durel Juvenile Group and the CPSC is announcing a recall of approximately 31,000 Safety 1st stair gates. Apparently, the hinges can break and give way, which creates a fall hazard if the gate is placed at the top of the stairs. Here’s what the gates look like:
This gate has a motion sensor which lights up when someone approaches. The model number for the gate is 42111, and the number is printed on a sticker under the handle panel. This gate was manufactured between January 2005 and July 2009, and was sold in many big box stores, including Toys R Us, WalMart, and other retailers. Shockingly, the gate was made in China.
Consumers should stop using the gate immediately and contact Dorel Juvenile Group (the importer) at (866) 690-2540 or to their website. While there, check out the company’s numerous other recalls, including the 100,000 of these gates that have previously been recalled.
The CPSC has recalled over 13 cribs and bassinets since the first of the year. Many feel that the CPSC is not aggressive enough in its recall measures, and that it is not sufficient to permit manufacturers to simply issue retrofit kits to satisfy the recalls. The Illinois Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, has taken matters into her own hands, and should be commended for her actions.
Here’s what’s happened. A company called Simplicity has had a lot of problems with recalls over the last year, some as a result of infant deaths. Due to the recalls, Simplicity was forced into bankruptcy. A company called SFCA, Inc, purchased the assets of Simplicity. That’s fine, except it appears that the only thing SFCA wanted to do was reap profits, and did not seem particularly interested in helping to save the lives of children. SFCA would not cooperate whatsoever with the CPSC recalls. Given that children’s lives are at stake, Madigan did not feel that the CPSC’s response to SFCA was sufficient, so she undertook her own action to force SFCA to stop marketing these dangerous cribs. She’s to be applauded.
AG Madigan has also put out a very useful guide for identifying which cribs have recently been recalled, as well as safe sleeping tips for infants.
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