It is a parent's worst nightmare. Learning that a product they have purchased to keep their child safe is in fact potentially deadly. Many Pittsburgh parents likely felt that when the news broke earlier this month that tents used to keep children in their cribs and play yards made by a company called Tots in Mind, Inc. were voluntarily recalled by five retailers that sold the defective and dangerous product.
The recall, announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, involved the following retailers: Burlington Coat Factory, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond/Buy Buy Baby and Toys R Us/Babies R Us. In addition, Amazon.com sold the products. In total, 330,000 of the tents are included in the recall.
While some recalls are a result of minor injuries occurring, sadly the reasons for this recall are much more serious. Young children could be seriously injured or even die after becoming entrapped in the tents and strangling themselves. In fact, since January 1997 and until last month, at least 27 failures of the product have been reported. These failures resulted in at least one serious injury and death.
The serious injury involved a 2-year-old boy who had the tent attached to his crib. He suffered a catastrophic brain injury when a broken rod caused the tent to invert and press upon his neck, depriving him of oxygen. Another 2-year-old boy died while in a play yard. He was caught between the play yard and a tent placed upon the play yard.
Anyone who has the dangerous product can return it to the store from which it was purchased. While at times a product's defect can be corrected and used again, the CPSC is warning owners to stop using it immediately. The failure to do so could result in another preventable injury or death.
Source: The Sacramento Bee, "Five Retailers Agree to Stop Sale and Recall Tots in Mind Crib Tents Due to Strangulation and Entrapment Hazard," U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, May. 16, 2012