Last week the four consumer advocates assigned to a a task force intended to draw new guidelines to make window blinds less hazardous to children walked out on discussions. The consumer advocates abandoned the discussions because their "recommendations were not being listened to", according to Rach Weintraub, director of product safety for the consumer Federation of America.
According to a New York Times article, when the window blind manufacturers handed over their latest draft proposal for changes to windwo blinds and coverings, the consumer advocates felt that the manufacturers' proposal "did not fulfill the goals of this process, which was to eliminate the hazard [of strangulation in children]" and that the consumer advocates recommendations were "being ignored and resisted."
According to reports, roughly one child a month dies by strangling on window blind cords.
With the breakdown in the negotiations, this issue will likely have to be handled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Though statements from chairwoman, Inez M. Tenenbaum, do not indicate that will be an easy solution either. Tenenbaum said, "[i't troubles me greatly that the revisions to the standards for roll-up blinds, Roman shades and other window coverings may fall far short of what I expected. There are two months left before the window covering industry must meet their deadline and I expect to see proposed standards that are stron and eliminate the risk of strangulation to young children."