Image: Roman shades
Consumer Product Safety Commission
Ikea is voluntarily recalling Roman shades, pictured, and roll-up blinds sold at stores nationwide from January 1998 to June 2009. The shades and blinds are dangerous for young children because their necks can become entangled in the cords.
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updated 6/10/2010 5:22:39 PM ET 2010-06-10T21:22:39

Ikea is recalling 3.4 million window blinds and shades after a child nearly strangled on a cord.

The recall covers three styles of shades: Roman shades and roll-up blinds sold at Ikea stores nationwide over more than 11 years, from January 1998 to June 2009, and roller blinds from that time period that don't have a tension device attached to the bead chain.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall Thursday after receiving a new report of a 1½-year-old boy in Lowell, Mass., who nearly strangled earlier this year.

Ikea has previously recalled hundreds of thousands of other Roman shades and roller blinds in the past two years after a 1-year-old girl died and a 2-year-old boy had a close call.

The recalled blinds are dangerous for young children because their necks can become entangled in the cords.

In the roller blinds, in which material gathers at the top of the blind when it's adjusted, a child can strangle when the blind's bead chain is not attached to the wall or floor with a tension device.

In roll-up blinds, which gather material at the bottom, a child's neck can become caught if the adjustment loop slides off the blind or a child places his or her neck between the pull loop and the blinds material.

In the Roman shades, a child can strangle if caught between the inner cord and the backside of the shade, or if the shade has a pull chain not attached to the wall or floor.

The consumer agency said Ikea was adding its name to the retailers joining the voluntary recall announced last year of all Roman shades and roll-up blinds. In that recall, millions of shades and blinds were recalled after the government received reports of at least five deaths and 16 near strangulations since 2006 from Roman shades and at least three deaths since 2001 from roll-up blinds.

"Parents should expect to see more recalls of dangerous window coverings," said agency spokesman Scott Wolfson.

The safety agency has estimated that about 500 children have strangled on the cords of blinds and shades since the early 1980s, an average of about one child each month.

The blinds recalled Thursday, distributed by Ikea Home Furnishings, of Conshohocken, Pa., were made in India, Estonia, China or Poland.

Ikea is asking consumers to stop using the recalled blinds and shades and return them to their stores for a full refund.

For more information about the Ikea recall, consumers can call 888-966-4532 or visit http://tinyurl.com/y9p8bh3 or http://www.cpsc.gov.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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