Recently, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled custom-made horizontal and vertical blinds manufactured by Michigan-based Blind Express. According to the CPSC report, the vertical blinds contain adjustment cords that do not attach to the wall or floor. Likewise, the horizontal counterparts do not possess inner cord stops to prevent the cords from being pulled from the blinds. As a result, children can become entangled in the cord loops.
The recall was prompted by a report of a 2-year-old girl strangled in the cord of some vertical blinds.
We here at Abnormal Use have not always seen eye-to-eye with the CPSC. The CPSC, for all the good it does, is sometimes overzealous with its recalls. In this instance, however, we can agree that loose blind cords present good grounds for a recall – especially when young children are placed in harm’s way.
Nevertheless, while we may support the end result, let us be a little a critical of the CPSC’s methods. Just check out these photos from the CPSC recall notice:
Wow. We can understand using “fire and brimstone” tactics to make a point, but hanging baby dolls may be a bit excessive. The blinds pose a strangulation hazard. We get that. But please explain how babies get trapped in the cords and then somehow suspended in mid-air? We are guessing these are not accurate depictions of the hazards. Something about these photos screams more psychopath journal than instructional warning label.
Illustrative warnings can be helpful – and sometimes even necessary – to get the point across. Sometimes, however, a simple diagram will suffice.