Product Liability

Two CT children fall victim to window blind cords

Two Connecticut children became the unwitting victims of the pull cords on window blinds and shades, which injured one young girl and killed another. Different manufacturers produced the blinds and shades involved in the incidents.

The Wall Street Journal reports that in one incident, a two-year-old girl from Bristol was nearly strangled in June when she slipped off the radiator on which she was standing with the cords of a roller shade around her neck. The girl’s five-year old brother held her up as she gasped for air. The girl vomited and suffered deep bruising on her neck, but has since recovered fully.

The incident has prompted a recall of shades manufactured by Green Mountain Vista, Inc. of Williston, Vermont. The recall applies to the company’s insulated black-out roller shades and insulated Roman shades with the RN number 107875. The shades in question were made in China.

In another incident, a one-year-old girl in Greenwich, CT became entangled in the inner cord of an IKEA blind and strangled to death last April. The girl was in a playpen located beneath a lowered blind and was found partially suspended with the inner cord wrapped twice around her neck.

The IKEA blinds includes all sizes of 100-percent cotton white IRIS and ALVINE blinds with a five-digit supplier number 19799 or 21369. These particular blinds, manufactured in India, were available at IKEA stores until June 2008.

Strangulation of small children by pull cords and blinds is not uncommon. The U.S. Consumer Protection Agency illustrates what might happen to children if they are left unattended around potentially hazardous blinds in a report available here.

To obtain more information about either recall and the recommended course of action, go to www.cpsc.gov.