Window Blind Death, Near-Strangulation Prompt RecallsNov 20, 2008 | Parker Waichman LLP
Defective window blinds are being recalled following the death of one child, and the near strangulation of another, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced. One recall involves Roman blinds sold at IKEA, while the other includes blackout roller shades and insulated Roman shades made by Green Mountain Vista Inc. of Vermont.
The CPSC is reminding consumers to examine all window blinds and shades in their homes. If looped pull cords are present or exposed inner cords are found on the back of blinds or shades, and children are in the home or occasionally visit the home, the CPSC said consumers should consider replacing them with blinds or shades that do not have exposed pull cords or inner cords.
According to the CPSC, a 1-year-old girl from Greenwich, Conn. died in April after becoming entangled in the inner cord of an IKEA Roman Blind and strangled. The child was in a portable playpen that was located underneath a fully lowered Roman blind. She was found partially suspended with the inner cord of the blind wrapped twice around her neck. The CPSC is warning that strangulation can occur when a child places his/her neck in an exposed inner cord on the backside of the Roman blinds.
In the U.S., IKEA is recalling about 670,000 IRIS and ALVINE Roman Blinds. The recall involves all sizes of IRIS and ALVINE Roman Blinds in white. The recalled IKEA blinds have a sewn-in label at the top edge of the blind with the IKEA logotype, article name (IRIS or ALVINE), 5-digit supplier number 19799 or 21369, four digit date stamp (YYWW) and the words “Made in India”. On the bottom edge of the blind there is a sewn-in orange/white safety warning label. The blinds are made from 100% cotton. The were sold at IKEA stores nationwide from July 2005 through June 2008 for between $7 and $30.
The CPSC is advising consumers to immediately stop using the recalled blinds and return them to any IKEA store to obtain a full refund. Consumers seeking additional information on the IKEA Roman Blind recall may contact IKEA toll-free at (888) 966-4532 anytime, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.ikea-usa.com
The CPSC also reported that a 2-year-old girl from Bristol, Conn. suffered a near strangulation in June 2008 as a result of the recalled Green Mountain Vista shades. The accident occurred when she placed a loose bead cord loop around her neck and then slipped off the radiator where she was standing. Fortunately, her 5-year-old brother was able to lift the girl, who by then was gasping for air, from the cord entanglement. She vomited and had deep neck bruising, but has since recovered from her injuries, the CPSC said.
As a result of this accident, Green Mountain Vista is recalling all insulated black-out roller shades (colors: white, cream, harvest, light sage) and insulated Roman shades sizes 48, 60 and 72 (colors: white, natural, sage, sienna, blue, goldenrod, mahogany, terracotta). The shades have RN number 107875 printed on the care label of the shade and identify the manufacturer on the “Installation and Care Instructions.” They were sold nationwide at Country Curtains, Plow & Hearth, The Linen Source, Sturbridge Yankee Workshop, Ann & Hope, The Sportsman’s Guide, Target.com, The Curtain Shop of Maine, and Solutions Catalog from June 2005 through September 2008 for between $60 and $200.
The CPSC is advising consumers to immediately check their window coverings to see if the tension device is attached. If not attached, immediately stop using the window coverings and contact Green Mountain Vista Inc. to receive a free repair kit. If the consumer is not able to install the tensioning device, contact Green Mountain Vista for further instructions.
For additional information, consumers may contact Green Mountain Vista at (800) 639- 1728 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.gmvista.com