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Window Blinds need to be Recalled - Again

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How many children will die before window blind companies will take action? A Naples couple just filed a lawsuit over the death of their three-year-old daughter, strangled from the cords of a window blind last Feb. 2005.

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed by the couple against several manufacturing and marketing companies, including Home Depot.

The lawsuit says "the manufacturers and Home Depot, where the blinds were purchased, were negligent in making and selling the window products with the cords, running in excess of 7 and 1/4 inches long, posing a risk of strangulation."

It goes on to say that the companies "knew the design was dangerous and twice admitted such." The [CPSC] did recall horizontal window blinds after compiling reports from 1991 to 2000 of 160 strangulations involving cords on window blinds! 140 strangulations involved the outer pull cords, and 20 involved the inner cords that run through the blind slats.

The recall was purported to involve millions of window blinds with pull cords and inner cords that can form a loop and cause strangulation. At this time the manufacturers allegedly redesigned the blinds, but they still remained dangerous, causing further deaths.

"The manufacturers chose not to do a recall to prevent further deaths," the current complaint says. Instead, the manufacturers choose to blame parents for neglect. About 85 million window blinds are sold each year in the U.S.

"We are working on changing design, trying to push for Consumer Products Safety Standards (CPSC), but it only has voluntary standards for all window blinds. This means that manufacturers don't have to abide by what CPSS says, just what they recommend," explains Linda Kaiser. She founded [Parents for Window Blind Safety] almost six months after the death of her daughter, strangled after becoming entangled in a window blind. Since then, over 35 children have died in the U.S. alone, in just over three and-a-half years, from strangulation due to window blinds.

According to Kaiser, redesigns and safety standards have been futile. "There have been two documented child deaths in daycare from window blinds, and these blinds did meet safety standards!" Kaiser thinks it is imperative that blinds are banned in daycare facilities.

"Right now I am just pushing for legislation in Missouri," she says. "The window covering safety council is telling the public that safety kits on the blinds are safe. They even passed out free kits. But they are far from safe. A little girl in Naples died (above) with a safety kit on the blind. A little boy in Orlando Florida, almost died January 3rd from a brand new window blind from Home Depot - with the safety kit attached.

Apparently there are no products on the market that make these window blinds safe. Isn't it time to say let's not use cords in our homes anymore? But parents think they are safe because that is what the package says.

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