Near-Strangulation Prompts IKEA Blind Recall
IKEA has issued a recall of over 3 million Roman and roller blinds, adding itself to the other retailers who have joined the voluntary recall announced in December 2009 of all Roman shades and roll-up blinds. This recall was triggered by the near-strangulation of a toddler in Lowell, Massachusetts in February of this year.
There have been multiple incidents of children strangling in blinds made by IKEA, as well those made by other manufacturers. It is estimated that about one child per month dies after strangling on a window covering cord, and over 200 children have fallen victim in the last two decades.
The CSPC has posted the following breakdown of the dangers associated with various forms of window coverings:
Roller Blinds: Strangulation can occur if the blind’s looped bead chain is not attached to the wall or the floor with the tension device provided and a child’s neck becomes entangled in the free-standing loop.
Roman Blinds: Strangulation can occur when a child places his/her neck between the exposed inner cord and the fabric on the backside of the blind or when a child pulls the cord out and wraps it around his/her neck. An additional hazard exists when the Roman blind has a continuous looped bead chain that, if not attached to the wall or floor, poses a strangulation hazard to children.
Roll-up Blinds: Strangulation can occur if the lifting loops slide off the side of the blind and a child’s neck becomes entangled on the free-standing loop or if a child places his/her neck between the lifting loop and the roll-up blind material.
The CPSC advises that everyone examine all shades and blinds in their home to ensure that there are no accessible cords on the front, side, or back of the product. They also recommend the use of cordless window coverings in all homes where children live or visit. This warning applies to all brands of shads, not just those sold by IKEA.
Consumers with an IKEA Roman or roller blind that does not have a tension device attached to the chain should return the blinds to any IKEA store for a full refund.