Lowe's recalls shades, blindsHome improvement giant Lowe's is recalling 11 million Roman shades and roll-up blinds after reports of two children nearly strangling in the cords, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said.

Tens of millions of Roman shades and blinds have been recalled in the past year as safety concerns have mounted following at least a half-dozen deaths and a spate of near-strangulations. Although nearly all of those types of window coverings were recalled about a year ago, millions more have been since, including one in November and another in October.All the recalls involve having consumers obtain a free repair kit.

Both incidents preceding this recall involve the Roman shades. A 4-year-old in South Carolina suffered a rope burn to his neck from getting tangled in a Roman shade cord. A 2-year-old Colorado boy was found in November 2009 with one of the cords wrapped around his arm and neck.

The recalled Roman shades were sold by Lowe's over at least the last 11 years until June 2010. The roll-up blinds were sold between 1999 (or earlier) and January 2005. Prices ranged from $10 to $1,800.

Here are the dangers, according to the CPSC:
  • Children risk strangulation with Roman shades when their necks are placed between the exposed inner cord and the fabric on the back of the blind or by pulling out the cord and wrapping it around their necks.
  • Children risk strangulation with roll-up blinds if the loop that lifts the blind slides off and they become tangled in the loop that now hangs freely or if they put their head between the blind material and loop and get their necks caught.
Some shades and blinds are excluded from the recall. They includes Roman shades that came with repair kits and roll-up blinds that have release clips just below the head rail on the rear of the blind.

The recalled blinds were made in either China, the United States, Mexico or Taiwan.

If you have one of the recalled blinds or shades, stop using them and obtain a free repair kit from the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC). To get a kit, call (800) 506-4636 or visit the council's website.

Consumers with additional questions should call Lowe's at (800) 445-6937.

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