KID learned last January about a death in December: a five-month old boy was found dead in a KidCo Peapod Travel Bed – a pop-up tent-like structure sold as sleep space for infant and toddlers. His face was against the wind resistant side of the product. We have also heard of one other death and a few other incidents either on retail sites or SaferProducts.gov. We started warning parents and others about the dangers of this product – warning them not to use it until it was cleared as safe by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) who was investigating.
Yesterday, Health Canada acted first. The agency warns against using this product for children under 1 because of the risk of a baby being caught between the mattress and side and suffocating. They report two incidents in Canada. The warning reports they are working with the company to address safety concerns, but Health Canada clearly felt the danger was such they did not want to wait before announcing the warning to the public. With that action, we feel confident in strongly warning parents not to use this product.
The bigger problem is that when parents go to buy a travel sleep product or any children’s product, they have no way to tell which are tested to strong mandatory – or even weak industry – standards and which, like the Peapod, fall outside the scope of standards and so are sold with insufficient testing. The Peapod doesn’t meet the definition of a play yard, portable crib or crib, so is not covered by those standards. The dangers of the PeaPod were never adequately investigated before it was sold – leaving babies to find the flaws.
Danny Keysar was killed in a similar way – a portable crib that was sold without testing to any standard – and this was back in 1998! Now, there are standards for the product that killed him, but these new products keep popping up with no safety testing required. CPSC should take action to stop untested products being sold for children, especially those intended for infant sleep.