Health Highlights: Nov. 20, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008; 12:00 AM

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:

IKEA Blinds Recalled After Girl's Death

The choking death of a 1-year-old girl from Greenwich, Conn., has prompted the U.S. recall of 670,000 IKEA IRIS and ALVINE Roman blinds, the Associated Press reported.

The girl died in April when she became tangled in the inner cord of a set of blinds located above her playpen, the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission said.

The blinds were sold at IKEA stores across the United States between July 2005 and June 2008. Another 4.8 million blinds were sold in other countries, the Associated Press reported. Consumers can return the blinds to any IKEA store for a full refund.

Another recall announced by the CPSC covers about 7,300 Green Mountain Vista insulated blackout roller shades and insulated Roman shades. In June, a 2-year-old girl from Bristol, Conn., nearly died after getting caught on the beaded-chain loop on a set of the shades. The girl was saved by her older brother, the AP reported.

The Green Mountain Vista shades were sold nationwide by a number of retailers from June 2005 through September 2008. The CPSC said consumers should inspect the shades to see if the tension device is attached. If not, contact Green Mountain Vista for a free repair kit and installation instructions.

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Health Insurers Would Accept All Customers if Congress Mandated Coverage

Health insurers would agree to accept all customers, regardless of illness or disability, if Congress required all Americans to have coverage, two main industry trade associations said Wednesday.

If people aren't mandated to have coverage, many would wait until they suffer health problems before they buy insurance, said America's Health Insurance Plans and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, The New York Times reported.

The industry's position could help ease passage of legislation to expand health care coverage and control health care costs. Such legislation is favored by President-elect Barack Obama and has widespread support in Congress, the newspaper said.


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