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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Tuesday that all Roman-style shades and roll-up blinds are being recalled after 5 children died of strangulation. Moreover, 16 other children have nearly strangled after blind cords became caught around the children’s necks. Overall, the recall affects 25 million Roman shades and according to the CPSC, the shade recall represents one of five of the largest recalls in the agency’s 35-year history.

The roll-up blinds have a large loop at the end of the pull-cord that can strangle young children. In addition to the recall, the CPSC is working closely with the Window Covering Safety Council to provide repair kits to consumers who purchased Roman shades and roll-up blinds from Wal-Mart, JCPenny, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Ace Hardware, Big Lots, Ross, and the Land of Nod. Specifically, the repair kit will include a device for the roll-up blinds that will force the pull-cord to separate into two pieces if weight equal to that of a baby’s head is applied to the cord.

In 2000 the CPSC issued a similar recall that affected window coverings. However, that recall mostly affected Venetian and vertical blinds. Nevertheless, since that time, many consumers have installed Roman shades and roll-up blinds because of their affordability. The spokesman for the CPSC, Scott Wolfson, recently announced that the agency is considering setting federal mandatory standards for window blinds to help improve safety for children.

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