Roman shades can be convenient and attractive, but they can also be deadly. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced manufacturer recalls of more than 50 million Roman shades that they say pose a direct risk to toddlers and infants. The cords, the CPSC reports, can accidentally wrap around the necks of unsuspecting children, choking them between the inner pull cords and the backing fabric of the shade.
The CPSC says that since 2006, five reported deaths and 16 near strangulations have been attributed to the Roman shades, with three deaths during the decade reportedly caused by roll-up blinds.
Recalls on Shades and Blinds from Major Retailers Because many of the recalled shades were sold by major retailers, Walmart, JC Penny, Ace Hardware, Big Lots, Pottery Barn, and Draper are offering repair kits to consumers. Walmart is offering full refunds on roll-up blinds. The Window Covering Safety Council is offering retrofit kits for free through their website.
Government officials say one child a month in the country is strangled by a window-blind cord, which is why the Window Covering Safety Council recommends cordless window blinds in any home where there are infants and toddlers. You can find a breakdown in recalls by manufacturer on the CPSC website.
If you're in doubt, and you have small children at home, find another kind of blind or shade, even if it's just a temporary set, until they grow.