Blinds Recalled After Child Strangulations

After three child strangulation deaths, more than five million window blinds and shades are being subject to six separate recalls.

The recalls involve Lewis Hyman, Vertical Land, Lutron Shading Solutions, Victoria Classics, Pottery Barn Kids and Ikea blinds and shades, and consumers are urged to stop using the shades immediately, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Lewis Hyman

About 4.2 million Lewis Hyman Oval Roll-up Blinds and 600,000 Woolrich Roman Shades are being recalled after reports of two strangulations involving cords that were exposed or pulled on and wrapped around a child’s neck.
The Roman shades were sold exclusively at Target Stores (Stock Quote: TGT) nationwide and online from March 2006 to December 2008 for between $25 and $43. The roll-up blinds were sold at retail stores nationwide from January 1999 through December 2003 for between $6 and $20, the CPSC says.

The recall covers Woolrich Roman shades and roll-up blinds with plastic oval-shaped slats without release clips. The blinds measure either 72” or 96” long.

Roll-up blinds that do have release clips right below the head rail on the backside of the blind are not included in this recall. 

The blinds did come with a warning label saying that young children can become entangled and strangle in cord or bead loops.

If roll-up blinds don’t include release clips, consumers are urged to stop using them immediately and contact Lewis Hyman for a free repair kit and those with the recalled Roman shades can contact Lewis Hyman toll-free at (877) 354-5457 or online at for a free repair kit that will be available by the end of September.

Vertical Land

In another case, a 4-year-old girl was strangled in the loop of a Vertical Land vertical blind cord that was not attached to a wall or floor.

The recall includes about 15,400 horizontal, 16,400 vertical and 800 cellular shades manufactured by Vertical Land. The custom-made vertical and cellular window coverings do not have a cord tensioning device and horizontal blinds do not have inner cord stop devices.

Inner cord stop devices on the horizontal blinds prevent inner cords from being pulled out to form a loop that could strangle children. With the vertical blinds, a child’s neck can be entangled on the free-standing loop formed by the bead chain or cord. Strangulations involving cellular shades can also occur if a child’s neck becomes entangled in a looped cord.

The blinds were sold at Vertical Land stores from January 1992 through December 2006 for between $60 and $200.

Consumers are urged to take down the blinds immediately and contact Vertical Land at (800) 423-8653 for a free retrofit kit.

Lutron Electronics

Additionally, about 245,000 Roller Shades made by Virginia Iron and Metal Company and distributed by Lutron Electronics are being recalled.

The shades were sold at specialty dealers and Expo Design Centers nationwide from January 2000 through April 2009 for between $200 and $2,000 per shade. While no injuries have been reported involving these particular shades, strangulations can occur if the shade’s free-standing looped bead chain is not attached to the wall or the floor and a child’s neck becomes entangled.

For a free repair kit and guidance in installing a tensioning device, consumers can contact Lutron Electronics at (866) 793-4270 or online at

Victoria Classics

Further, about 163,000 Thermal Sailcloth and Matchstick Bamboo Roman Shades from Victoria Classics sold exclusively at Target Stores are being recalled due to a strangulation risk. The shades were sold at Target stores and at nationwide from September 2008 through June 2009 for between $15 and $40.

Cosumers can contact Victoria Classics with any questions and to receive a free repair kit at (800) 583-9845 or

Melina  Roman Blinds

About 120,000 Melina  Roman Blinds in all sizes and colors sold exclusively at Ikea stores are also being recalled after a near strangulation of a 2-year-old boy found hanging from the looped bead chain. The blinds were sold at Ikea stores nationwide from August 2006 through June 2008 for between $20 and $40.

Consumers can contact IKEA at (888) 966-4532 or with any questions and return the recalled blinds to any IKEA store for a full refund.

Pottery Barn Kids

More near strangulations were reported involving Pottery Barn Kids roman shades leading to a recall of 85,000 of the window treatments in all sizes and colors. There have been six reports of children becoming entangled in the exposed inner cord on the back of the shade between March 2006 and July 2008, the CPSC reports. Four children were found with cords entangled around their necks. Two children were found with red marks around their necks after having freed themselves.

These shades were sold exclusively at Pottery Barn Kids and online at from January 2003 through May 2007 for between $30 and $60.

For more information, consumers can contact Pottery Barn Kids at (800) 492-1949 or  Pottery Barn Kids is offering a merchandise card for the purchase value of the blinds.

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