Pediatricians warn against weighted blankets after Camp Lejeune deaths spark recall

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (WITN) – We’re learning new details about the deaths of two North Carolina children back in April.

A weighted blanket, sold at target is now being recalled. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is saying that blanket was tied to the death of a 4-year-old and 6-year-old girl at Camp Lejeune.

Tonight WITN sat down with a pediatrician and the CPSC to learn more.

“We want make sure that this doesn’t happen to any other child,” said CPSC Deputy Director of Communications Director Patty Davis.

“These are blankets that a young child can become entrapped in by unzipping and entering the blanket. Target received four reports of entrapment and two of those resulted in fatality.”

Two of those deaths were sisters. CarolinaEast Pediatrician Brian Livingston said all parents of young children should check before gifting these types of blankets.

“The healthcare community hasn’t really had a chance to study it adequately yet.” “Children under five, you really gotta be careful. Children under six and seven, same thing. You really gotta think about it and make sure that’s what’s right for your individual child.”

The CPSC’s recall said customers can return the blankets for a full refund.

“We want to get as much attention to this recall as we possibly can,” Davis said.

But this was reported back in April, so why just now issue the recall? Here’s what Davis said when questioned about the time gap:

“As soon as we find out about a hazard with a dangerous product, we act to get a recall into place as quickly as we possibly can,” she explained. “There’s a lot of planning that goes into issuing the recall, on the company’s side and the CPSC side.”

Livingston said this is a reminder to parents to think critically when companies claim a product is beneficial or safe.

“You probably wanna talk to or look at websites that are evaluating these things and looking at them that are outside of making money for them,” he said.

We asked if we could get the exact time that they were made aware of those deaths, and Davis said we will need to make a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request which, under statute, federal agencies have 20 working days after which to respond.