Libertyville firm recalls infant travel beds
NEWS-SUN STAFF REPORT November 16, 2012 7:16PM
This undated image made available by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows a Peapod Travel Bed. The CPSC, in cooperation with KidCo Inc., of Libertyville, Ill., announced the voluntary recall of about 220,000 PeaPod and PeaPod Plus Travel Beds on Friday, Nov. 16, 2012. In a statement, the CPSC says infants and young children can roll off the edge of the inflatable air mattress, become entrapped between the mattress and the fabric sides of the tent, and suffocate. (AP Photo/U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission)
For more information, consumers can call KidCo toll-free at 855-847-8600 between 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. EST Monday through Friday or visit the company’s Web site at www.kidco.com and click on “recall info” to receive the kit.
Updated: December 19, 2012 1:17PM
A Libertyville children’s safety equipment manufacturer agreed Friday to recall about 220,000 infant travel beds after reports of one infant’s death and nine others entrapped or distressed while inside the portable sleep tents.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall in cooperation with KidCo Inc., after determining that an infant could roll between the bed’s air mattress and the tent’s fabric sides, raising the danger of suffocation.
The Pea Pod Travel Crib, which is made in China and sold at independent retailers and on Amazon.com, has an air mattress that fits into a zippered pocket in the floor of the domed tent, which collapses for easy transport. But if the mattress is placed in the floor of the tent, an infant’s head could lodge between the mattress and the tent’s side, making breathing impossible.
That’s what’s believed to have happened to a 5-month-old New York City baby, who was put in the travel crib with his twin sister for a nap while visiting family in December 2011.
Ken Kaiser, president of KidCo, said his company, which makes home safety and natural feeding products for children, has sold 220,000 of the travel beds since 2005, with no “verifiable” reports of injuries. This is the first recall for the company, located at 1013 Technology Way, southeast of the intersection of Route 45 and West Winchester Road.
“This is a voluntary recall between the CPSC and Health Canada and Kidco, simply to reduce the risk of any entrapment or suffocation that might happen with a Pea Pod product,” Kaiser said Friday. The beds cost between $70 and $100.
KidCo is offering kits to address the danger. The kits include supports that strengthen the sides of the tent and a thinner air mattress. Together, Kaiser said, they prevent the pocket from forming.
The safety commission’s chairwoman, Inez Tenenbaum, encouraged parents to get the kit, particularly during the holidays, when parents are likely travel with children.
“We believe that having the inflatable mattress much smaller reduces the chances of entrapment between the mattress and the fabric side of the tent. We want to make sure the suffocation risk is removed.”
Safety, Kaiser said, is “what we’re known for and it’s what our reputation is built on. The concern was more of a design issue as to how the product mechanically works. The kit adequately addresses that.”
But Nancy Cowles, executive director of Kids in Danger, says her Chicago-based consumer safety group would prefer to see refunds offered, rather than the kits, so parents can buy products tested for safety standards.
The Associated Press contributed to this report