Death spurs recall of 220,000 infant travel beds

Associated Press Modified: November 16, 2012 at 10:00 am •  Published: November 16, 2012
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WASHINGTON (AP) — A children's safety equipment manufacturer has agreed 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. of Libertyville, Ill., early Friday 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 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.

"The bed is very compact and easy to fold," said Natalie Diaz, a friend of the family whose baby died. "It looks like a giant Frisbee and pops open. You assume when something's on the market for this long, it is safe."

Diaz said the parents put the twins in the travel bed for a nap. "The daughter was fine, the son never woke up," she said.

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. This is their first recall.

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.

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