Over 50 million Roman shades and roll-up blinds have been recalled because they pose a strangulation hazard to children. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said five deaths and 16 near-strangulations involving Roman shades have been reported since 2006, and three deaths linked to roll-up blinds have been reported since 2001.
About 5 million Roman shades and 3 million roll-up blinds are sold each year, and the CPSC recommends that consumers replace any product purchased before 2001. Roman shades pose a risk if a child's neck gets stuck between the exposed inner cord and the fabric on the backside of the blind, or if the cord gets wrapped around a child's neck. Roll-up blinds pose a strangulation hazard if a child's neck becomes entangled in the lifting loop, or if a child's neck gets between the lifting loop and the roll-up blind material.
Parents and caregivers are urged to examine all shades and blinds to make sure there are no accessible cords in the home. They are also advised not to place cribs, beds or other furniture close to windows because children can climb on the furniture and reach the cords. Cordless window coverings are recommended for all homes with children.