Target is recalling a weighted children's blankets that was sold in its stores and online after two children in N.C. died and two others were entrapped while using the product.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall Thursday for the PIllowfort Weighted Blanket stating children can become trapped when they unzip and enter the blanket creating a risk for asphyxiation.
In April, a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old girl reportedly became entrapped in the cover of Pillowfort Weighted Blankets and died due to asphyxia at Camp Lejeune, CPSC said.
The commission stated there were two other reports of children becoming trapped in the product that did not result in death.
"There's a zipper component, it kind of acts like a duvet cover where you can zip up and down the cover of the weighted blanket. That's a concern for very young children who could unzip it and get into it and become suffocated that way," Doctor Daniel Park, the Medical Director of the Pediatric Emergency Department at UNC Health said. "That was the mechanism by which, unfortunately, those 2 children died in North Carolina."
Dr. Park says another concern is the weight of the blanket.
"Some of these weighted blankets are quite heavy in relation to the body weight of some very young children, and that could be a hazard in itself as well," he said.
While there are risks with weighted blankets, Dr. Park says there are benefits.
"Adults and teens should be perfectly fine with the weighted blankets, and there's been some shown benefits of weighted blankets, especially for sensory disorders, or patients with autism so there are certainly benefits, but for young children, they have not shown to the display any sort of significant benefit that we know of and now we see several tragedies with these," Dr. Park adds.
According to Consumer Product Safety Commission, Target sold about 204,000 of the $40-blankets from December 2018 through September 2022.
The id numbers to the affected blankets, which can be found on the fabric tag are: 097-02-0140 (Unicorn - White), 097-02-0148 (Space Navy), 097-02-0361(Pink), 097-02-0363 (Blue), 097-02-0364 (Gray), 097-02-1603 (Buffalo Plaid - Red), 097-02-3904 (Blue Constellation) and 097-02-3905 (Unicorn - Pink).
Customers can log onto target.com for more information about the recall and how to get a refund.