Hanover Direct window coverings recalled after child strangles

Hanover Direct shade recall.Hanover Direct is recalling more than a half-million shades and blinds after a toddler from Iowa was found hanging from his neck in one of the shades' outer cords, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said.

The 22-month-old was freed from the cords by his father, but later died, the CPSC said.

Hanover direct also is known as Domestications, The Company Store, and Company Kids. Most of the recall involves Roman Shades; the rest roll-up and roller blinds. About 90,000 of their Roman shades were recalled a year ago after a near-strangulation of a Delaware boy.

The window covering industry and the CPSC have been pushing hard to alert consumers to the dangers of these types of shades and blinds, which have loose hanging cords. Nearly a year ago, virtually every Roman shade and blind on the market was recalled.

In a speech this week, CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum urged the window coverings industry to set a new standard for how they are made to ensure the safety of young children. In the interim, she said, an estimated one child a month will be strangled in one.

"With all my heart, I hope that this doesn't come true, but it is what our statistics predict," she said. "One month it may be a toddler who wanders over to a roll up blind and wraps the exposed cord around his neck. Another month it may be a baby in a crib that is positioned too close to a window who falls into an exposed vertical blind cord.
"No matter what the situation or circumstance is these tragedies are preventable. They have been preventable in the past, they are preventable now, and they will be preventable in the future."

The CPSC identifies the following hazards with the three different types of blinds:

  • Roman Shades: 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.
  • 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.
  • Roller Blinds: Strangulations can occur if the blind's continuous loop bead chain or continuous loop pull cord is not attached to the wall or the floor with the tension device provided and a child's neck becomes entangled in the free-standing loop.
The shades and blinds in this recall were sold through catalogs and websites from January 1996 through October 2009 for $20-$579. They were made in a variety of countries, including China and the U.S.

If you have one of the recalled shades or blinds -- or any that don't have a tension device -- stop using them immediately and get a free repair kit from Window Covering Safety Council by calling (800) 506-4636 anytime or going to its site.

Consumers can also call Hanover at (800) 453-1106 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern Time, seven days a week.
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