Target has recalled 204,000 weighted blankets after the suffocation deaths of two girls earlier this year, the company and U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced on Thursday.
The girls, ages 4 and 6, became entrapped in the removable cover of the Pillowfort blankets and died due to asphyxia at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to a statement by the CPSC.
Target has received four reports of children getting trapped after unzipping and climbing into the blanket, including the two fatalities, noted CPSC.
Dr. Daniel Park, medical director at the pediatric emergency department at University of North Carolina Hospitals, told local NBC-affiliate WRAL-TV News that the blankets pose a risk for two reasons – the zipper and the weight of the product itself.
Children’s “chest walls are a lot thinner and softer and more pliable, and more susceptible to weight,” Park said. “A lot of these blankets in proportion to their body weight, are substantial, and that can cause airway and breathing problems.
Consumers should immediately stop using the blanket and contact Target for a refund.
The blankets, made in China, were sold exclusively at Target stores and online from December 2018 through September 2022 for $40.
The six-pound blankets are 60 inches long and 40 inches wide and have a removable, waterproof, washable cover. They came in eight prints or colors, which can be viewed at this link.
Target can be contacted online or at 800-440-0680 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central time to get a prepaid return label to return the blankets by mail. The blankets can also be returned to any Target store.