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Lowes Recalls 11 Million Roman Shades, Roll-Up Blinds -- Sold Widely Since 1999 -- Before Another Innocent Child Chokes To Death

Hope you're not too attached to those tiki-fabulous Roman blinds hanging in your toddler's playroom. 'Cause have we got news for you, furniture-phile: The classic Lowes product has been recalled due to its dangerous, child-strangling cordage.

Six million are Roman shades and five million are roll-up blinds, reports the LA Daily News.

New curtains, in this economy?! Not to fret. Owners of the homicidal window covers can hit up the Window Covering Safety Council (sweet) for free repair kits at (800) 506-4636 or windowcoverings.org.

(As a side note, we're post-Thanksgiving thankful for the Super Baby video those good, good souls at WCSC posted on their home page. Acronym not to be confused with CBS News in South Carolina or the Walnut Creek Soccer Club. Window-covering safety first, people!)

WebMD is all over the issue of kids with kords. They say eight deaths and 16 "near strangulations" have been reported due to Roman shades and blinds since 2001 -- prompting a multiple-company recall of 50 million shades last year. The problem with the pull-up cords, in detail, whether you like it or not:

  • Roman shades: A child may strangle if his or her neck gets caught between the exposed inner cord and the fabric on the back of the blind -- or when a child simply wraps the cord around his or her neck.
  • Roll-up blinds: If the lifting loop slides off the blind, a child's neck can get caught in the free-standing loop. Children may also place their necks between the lifting loop and the roll-up blind material.

The two incidents that spurred the Lowes recall in particular were 1) in 2009, when a Chicago two-year-old managed to wind the cord around his arm and neck, but came out alive, thank garsh, and 2) earlier this year, when a South Carolina four-year-old contracted a rope burn. Both were boys. (Figures. Always ruining cord-fairy fun-time for the fairer sex.)

A few last reminders from the WCSC:

  • Examine all shades and blinds in homes to make sure there are no accessible cords on the front, side, or back of the product. Both recommend the use of cordless window coverings in all homes where children live or visit.
  • Do not place cribs, beds, and furniture near windows with the coverings.
  • Make loose cords inaccessible.
  • If window shades have looped bead chains or nylon cords, install devices to keep the cords taut.

Nooooo! Not the looped bead chain!

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