Target has issued a recall for more than 200,000 weighted blankets after two children died from asphyxiation.
“Two small children tragically died after they zipped themselves into a Target brand ‘Pillowfort’ Weighted Blanket and could not escape the blanket cover,” Richard Trumka of the U.S. Consumer Products Saftey Commission (CPSC) said in a statement. “In three separate, additional incidents, other children also became entrapped within the blanket cover but survived.”
A 4-year-old girl and a 6-year-old girl reportedly became entrapped in the cover of the weighted blanket and died due to asphyxia in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in April. Target has received four reports of children becoming entrapped in these weighted blankets, including the two fatalities.
“We send our deepest condolences and support to the family that lost their loved ones. As soon as we became aware of the situation, we acted quickly to begin removing Pillowfort Weighted Blankets from our assortment and have pulled all of these items from sale,” Joe Unger, a spokesperson for Target, said to Sourcing Journal. “ In cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the product manufacturer, we are also initiating a full product recall and are in the process of alerting consumers. If a guest owns any of these products, they should immediately stop using them and return them to Target for a full refund.”
The blankets weigh six pounds, measure 60 inches long and 40 inches wide and have a removable, waterproof, washable cover. The blankets come in eight prints or colors, including unicorn white, space navy, pink, blue, gray, buffalo plaid red, blue constellation and unicorn pink. The blankets were sold from December 2018 through September 2022 for $40. Target exclusively sold the recalled weighted blankets at stores nationwide and online.
Trumka further said that the department store chain worked quickly with the CPSC to issue a “swift and innovative” recall. But Trumka abstained from voting to approve the recall as it contains a provision he doesn’t believe should exist: a receipt is required to receive a full remedy of a cash refund.
“This requirement is particularly inappropriate because Pillowfort is a brand only sold at Target stores—it could not have been bought anywhere else,” he said. “Our goal is to get as many unreasonably dangerous products out of people’s homes as possible. Unnecessary receipt requirements stand in the way of that goal. I expect that future recalls will not contain receipt requirements.”
Target’s recall came one day after Crate & Barrel recalled 280 of its Thornhill cribs due to the potential for falls and entrapment. According to an announcement from the CPSC, the crib’s mattress support pins can come loose or not fit properly, causing the mattress to fall. In November, TJX, the parent company of TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods in the United States, issued a recall of Mittal International baby blankets as the threads in the chenille weave blankets can come loose and detach, posing choking, entrapment and strangulation hazards.