Companies have a legal duty to provide safe products to consumers. This includes inspecting all products for dangers, removing dangerous products from the market, and warning consumers of known dangers. These dangers can manifest in everyday products. It takes only the slightest negligence or lack of attention to details for a product to be unsafe and dangerous. These dangers can be even more hazardous to the youngest members of our families too, like children and babies. That is why it is especially important that companies and manufacturers thoroughly inspect all consumer goods they produce and sell.
According to a recent report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Blinds To Go has recalled window shades due to a strangulation hazard. The report states that the custom-made window shades’ chain or cord loop can slip out of the hold-down device, which poses a strangulation hazard for small children. The hold-down device for the cord is a clear P-shaped plastic hook, and the cord or chain loops of the shades clips into this device. The plastic hook is screwed to the side of the wall or window when the shades are installed. It was shipped with the Blinds To Go custom-made roller shades, including Sidewinders Smartlift pleated and cellular shades, Panel Tracks shades, and Serenity Shades.
The shades at issue were sold in Blinds To Go showrooms and online from January 2009 through November 2014. Consumers should stop utilizing the shades with the hook to avoid the strangulation hazard and contact the company for a retrofit kit and new hold down device.
Child strangulation and entrapment hazards are unfortunately extremely common in many of our everyday products. Common dangers may exist in products that are not apparently dangerous to us, and while we should be able to trust that companies have thoroughly inspected products for hazards, it is all too common that dangerous products enter the marketplace. Asides from shades and blinds, there are many other products that also possess the same risks.
The website KidsHealth.org offers some helpful advice for parents and caregivers to detect common dangers that can cause strangulation and entrapment to children. The organization recommends taking steps such as either modifying certain products or avoiding others all together. One piece of helpful advice is to be sure your baby’s crib mattress is the right size for the crib. It should fit snugly in the crib, which keeps a baby from getting caught between the mattress and crib sides. Also, it is imperative to never leave a child alone in a stroller; babies can easily slide down and trap their head. Another piece of helpful advice is to keep mobiles out of reach of children and to remove them from cribs completely by five months of age. When a child is able to push to their hands and knees and reach the mobile, this can be a choking hazard. Clip strings and ribbons off of other crib toys as well. Also, never tether a pacifier to your baby’s clothes with a ribbon or string as this too can pose a hazard to your baby.
Our attorneys care about the well-being of babies and children in our community. Many of these hazards are unapparent even to adults, so you can imagine how naïve a child can be to these dangers. That is why we all need to work together to protect children who are unable to protect themselves.