Target has issued a recall of 204,000 Pillowfort Weighted Blankets after two young girls died from being trapped inside the cover and suffocating.
In the recall notice, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported that the girls, four years old and six years old, climbed inside the six-pound blanket after unzipping its removable cover, got stuck and died of asphyxia in April 2022. There have been two more reports of children trapped inside the same model of blanket.
Consumers are being urged to stop using these blankets, which were sold in Target stores nationwide and online between December 2018 and September 2022. Customers can return them to Target for a full refund.
Typically, weighted blankets are to be used by teens and adults, however, children who weigh more than 50 pounds and are over 3 years old may also use them, so long as the blanket is the proper size and weight.
Weighted blankets and other products marketed specifically for children are legally categorized as “children’s products,” indicating their compliance with federal safety regulations. While the CPSC has a strict set of federal safety rules for classifying items as children’s products, it’s essential to ensure that the item you’re purchasing is appropriate for your child in particular.
How are products determined as children’s products?
The law states that a children’s product must be specifically designed or primarily intended for a child 12 years of age or younger. Factors considered include:
- A manufacturer’s statement about the intended use of the product, including its product label.
- Whether the product’s packaging, display, promotion or advertising is appropriate for children 12 or younger.
- Whether the product is commonly recognized as being intended for use by children 12 or younger.
- The Age Determination Guidelines issued by the Commission staff in January 2020.
Determining this classification allows companies to accurately identify the set of consumer product safety standards for their product. Children’s products must also go through third party testing and have a written Children’s Product Certificate (CPC) that demonstrates compliance with this list of rules.
Tips for choosing safe products for your children
When identifying what products are safe for your child, make sure you’re considering their habits, behavior and temperament, as well as the manufacturer’s age recommendations. Even if your child seems advanced compared to others the same age, they should not use toys intended for older kids.
For example, if you’re considering a weighted blanket for your child, make sure the blanket’s weight does not exceed 10% of the child’s body weight (to safely use a 7-pound weighted blanket, the child should weigh 70 pounds or more). For more tips, take a look at our blog post where we break down how to determine what toys are safe for your children.
If you believe a toy or product you purchased for your child is unsafe, call the CPSC’s hotline at (800) 638-CPSC and keep the product away from your child.