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Mother of Child Killed by Window Blind Pushed for Recall

Dec 16, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP

The mother of baby girl killed in the cords of a window blind is being credited with helping to bring about yesterday's massive recall of Roman shades and roll-up window blinds.

According to The Chicago Tribune, in 2002, Linda Kaiser's year-old  daughter, Cheyenne, became entangled in the inner cords of a window blind, and strangled to death as her twin brother slept nearby.  The tragedy led Elgin to found a nonprofit group called Parents for Window Blind Safety, and she began pushing for a window blind recall.

In her interview with the Tribune, Kaiser pointed out that what happened to her daughter and other victims of dangerous blinds was not the result of parental neglect. In hindsight, Kaiser she would not have put Cheyenne's crib in reach of a window, but at the time she had limited options due to space restrictions.   When her twins were born, Kaiser went to great pains to make sure her home was baby-proofed, and had taken the advice of safety experts and  had tied up the pull cords on the blind that killed her daughter.  Like many parents, she likely didn't realize the inner cords on such blinds posed a danger as well. 

A spokesperson with the CPSC told The Chicago Tribune that parental pressure does play a role in bringing hazards to the government's attention and spurring it to act. An official with the group Kids in Danger praised Kaiser's perseverance and determination in pushing for the window blind recall.

Yesterday's window blind recall, announced jointly by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) involves 50 million Roman shades and roll-up window blinds - every such blind on the market.  Several retailers, including Wal-Mart, JCPenney, Pottery Barn and Big Lots, also  issued their own recalls yesterday. According to the CPSC, Roman shades have been implicated in the deaths of five children and 16 near strangulations since 2006.  Roll-up blinds have been cited in three strangulation deaths since 2001.

If you have one of the blinds included in this week's recall, contact the WCSC immediately at or by calling (800) 506-4636 anytime to receive a free repair kit.

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