IKEA Recalls Millions Of Blinds for Strangulation Hazard

IKEA Home Furnishings, of Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, just issued a massive recall of <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/product_liability">Roller Blinds, all Roman Blinds, and all Roll-Up Blinds Due to risk of strangulation, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Health Canada (HC) just announced.

The recall of about 3,360,000 defective blinds expands previous recalls of Roman and roller blinds and has added IKEA’s name to the retailers joining the voluntary recall announced in December 2009 (see recall notice at: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10077.html_) of ALL Roman shades and roll-up blinds.

About 790,000 Roman blinds were recalled in November 2008 (recall notice can be accessed at: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09050.html) and August 2009 (recall notice can be accessed at: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09325.html); about 533,000 Roller blinds were recalled in October 2009 (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10022.html).

Hazards and issues surrounding this recall include:

• Roller Blinds: Strangulations 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 freestanding loop. To date, CPSC and IKEA received a new report of a 1 ½-year old boy in Lowell, Massachusetts who suffered a near strangulation in February 28, 2010. On April 4, 2008, a 1-year old girl in Greenwich, Conn. became entangled in the inner cord of an IKEA Roman blind and strangled. CPSC and IKEA also received a report of a 2-year old boy who suffered a near strangulation. The last two incidents prompted previous recalls.

• Roman Blinds: Strangulations 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, which poses a strangulation hazard to children. To date, no incidents have been reported.

• Roll-up Blinds Strangulations 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. To date, no incidents have been reported.

This recall involves roller blinds that do not have a tension device attached to the bead chain, all Roman blinds, and all roll-up blinds. The recalled blinds were sold at IKEA stores nationwide from January 1998 through June 2009 for between $5 and $55 and were manufactured in India, Estonia, China, and Poland.

The CPSC is advising consumers to immediately stop using the roller blinds that do not have a tension device attached to the chain, all Roman blinds, and all roll-up blinds and return them to any IKEA store for a full refund. In a previous recall, IKEA reminded consumers who have roller blinds with a tension device attached to the bead chain to make sure the tension device is installed into the wall or floor. If the consumer has difficulty installing the tension device, contact IKEA for additional information.

IKEA can be reached toll-free at (888) 966-4532 any time, or at the firm’s website at www.ikea-usa.com. The CPSC also notes that consumers should examine all shades and blinds in their homes to ensure that there are no accessible cords on the front, side, or back of the product. CPSC recommends the use of cordless window coverings in all homes in which children live or visit.

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