Crib and play yard tents recalled due to strangulation hazard

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and five retailers are announcing a voluntary recall to provide refunds to consumers who own crib tents and play yard tents made by Tots in Mind, Inc.

Crib tents are mesh tents that fit over the tops of cribs to keep climbers in. They have poles that keep them erect and you attach the tent with Velcro to the crib rails. They zip open at the top to lift the child in and out.

Nikki Fleming of the CPSC says the recall is for five models from this specific brand. She says consumers should follow all manufacturer recommendations if using another brand.

The models under recall are (you can see photos of the tents here to help you identify them):

  1. Portable Playard Tent
  2. Original Cozy Crib Tent
  3. Cozy Crib Tent II
  4. Crib Tent for Convertible Cribs
  5. Portable Playard Tent Plus Cabana Kit

From the CPSC:

“CPSC is warning parents and caregivers who own these products that infants and toddlers are at risk of serious injury or death due to strangulation and entrapment hazards presented by these products. Tots in Mind recalled the play yard tents in July 2010 and offered a repair kit that is no longer available. The company is no longer in business and has stopped all sales. CPSC staff urges parents and caregivers to stop using these crib tents and play yard tents immediately. Do not attempt to repair these products.”

“CPSC is aware of 27 tent failures including one fatality and one serious injury that occurred between January 1997 and April 2012 from crib tents and play yard tents made by Tots in Mind, Inc. In 2008, a two year old boy died after becoming entrapped between the bottom rail of a play yard tent and the top rail of a play yard. The fatality was reported in a prior recall with the firm in July 15, 2010.”

“In 2007, a two year old boy sustained a catastrophic brain injury when the crib tent affixed to his crib tent inverted and the product’s broken rod trapped him at the neck. The remaining 25 reports to CPSC involved inverted crib tents—entrapments between the tent and the crib/play yard or failures of the tent fabric and zippers. Three of these 25 reports also resulted in injuries; in one such case, a parent reported finding her child turning blue and entrapped between the product and the top rail of the play yard.”

“Since Tots in Mind, Inc. is out of business, retailers who sold these products have stepped up to offer refunds or store credit to consumers. The crib tents and play yard tents can present an entrapment and strangulation hazard to infants and toddlers if the dome portion inverts inside the crib or play yard, or if the product becomes partially detached from the crib or play yard. The recalled products were sold at numerous retail stores including Bed Bath & Beyond/Buy Buy Baby, Burlington Coat Factory, Toys R Us/Babies R Us, Walmart and online on websites including Amazon.com, for between $60 and $85.”

“Consumers should contact the store listed below where the crib tent was purchased to receive either a refund or store credit, depending on the retailer. If consumer is unsure of where the crib tent was purchased, see return policy for individual retailers below on their website:

“The recall includes various models of about 330,000 crib or play yard tents. Consumers can identify their tent by the 2”x 1½” label with Tots In Mind logo located on the non-mesh portion near the top of the tent.”

I Google searched to see if there was another brand of crib tents but I didn’t really find any. The tents are still listed on websites but some say unavailable as of Thursday afternoon. The Tots in Mind website does say they are out of business.

I totally get that this is a major bummer for moms who are using crib tents to keep their agile climbers in at night but it sounds like you have to give them up unless you can find another brand. I used this brand crib tent for Walsh and Lilina so I feel your pain.

Walsh was climbing out before he was 1. That thud you heard during the night was him falling over the side of the crib – not good. The crib tent was the only way I felt good going to sleep knowing he wouldn’t be falling on his head during the night.

I have a good friend using the crib tent now and she is very upset about having to give it up. I wrote to her on Facebook that I often considered installing Dutch doors, where the top could be open but the bottom part would be locked and the child couldn’t get out of the room. The parent could see in and check on them and get them out in case of a fire, but they couldn’t roam out of their rooms at night. (Here’s one website that makes them custom for houses.)

Did you use the crib tent? Are you super bummed about it being recalled? What are some other options for mothers who have agile little ones climbing out of cribs? What do you do if you’re not ready to move them to a big-kid bed?

(You can sign up for safety recalls specifically for child products on this page. You will get emails notifying you of recalls.)

37 comments Add your comment

catlady

May 18th, 2012
8:34 am

Never needed to use a crib tent. If I had one climb out, I would have probably (gasp) spanked the child and put them back in. You got out when I said you got out, buddy! And if they were tall enough that with the mattress as low as it could go, they could scale the sides of the crib, I guess they would have been in a big kid bed, where, yes, they had to stay in bed when put there!

Theresa, why would you keep them in a crib if they were mature enough to climb out?

Me

May 18th, 2012
8:48 am

@catlady — ditto!

Figment

May 18th, 2012
8:56 am

Thankfully my son was never a climber so I didn’t have this problem. Once he was too big for the crib we changed to a toddler bed. Sure he got out at night, you just put them back to bed till they learn. He’s 4 now and still occasionally gets out of bed. I just put him back and he goes right back to sleep.

Sure it’s some work for the parent, but IMO it’s so much safer than trying to confine them to bed with a tent or whatever.

homeschooler

May 18th, 2012
9:07 am

I never had a climber either but I have seen very young one year olds climb out of a crib. I can’t imagine spanking a one year old. What do you do if you are in that situation?

Personally I don’t think I would ever have used a crib tent. Too much like a cage but, again, I never had a climber.

I like the Montessori idea of putting nothing but a mattress on the floor in a very baby proofed room and close the door. The child learns to go lie down and go to sleep when he/she is finished wandering around the room. Never tried it but I always thought it would be neat.

Mine stayed in a crib until somewhere between 2 or 3 and then transitioned easily into a big bed. They didn’t start getting out of bed until they were 4 or 5!

jarvis

May 18th, 2012
9:17 am

Montessori makes incompetitive wimps (I cleaned that up from my first term)…just sayin’.

K's Mom

May 18th, 2012
10:04 am

When K started climbing out, he got moved to a regular bed. He has never climbed out of it. I don’t get the toddler beds. They are so low to the ground it is too easy for them to climb out. We have had great success with a regular ole bed and used pool noodles under the fitted sheet as a barrier for him rolling out. Has workked like a charm!

JOD

May 18th, 2012
10:21 am

DD wasn’t a climber and we transitioned her to a toddler bed somewhere between 2 1/2 and 3. Initially I put a body pillow on the floor next to the bed in case she rolled out…she never even woke up the couple of times it happened. We still have her in the toddler bed since it is easy for her to get up to use the bathroom at night, but will move her to a regular bed sometime in the near future.

Don’t really get the crib tent – if they are old enough to climb out, put them in a toddler bed? It wasn’t an issue for us, so I didn’t put any thought into it. We had a baby gate on DD’s door until this past year, so if she wanted to wander around her room, no biggie. We also had a video monitor, so I would typically know when she was up anyway.

@K’s Mom – I like the noodle idea :o)

homeschooler

May 18th, 2012
10:41 am

@ Jarvis. not sure where your opinion of Montessori comes from but I worked at a Montessori school all through college. I constantly heard critisism from people who were not familiar with the program but the funny thing was the critisism was very inconsistent. Some would say the program is too structured and others would say it was not structured enough. Nobody really knew. In reality it is just a method of teaching that produces extremely independent children. I never knew a 4 yr old in Montessori who could not tie his own shoes or a 3 yr old who couldn’t help her mother cook dinner. They were constantly reminded of what they can do and encouraged to excel. At the same time, they learned great organizational skills because their surroundings were very organized and they were responsible for putting everything back in place, keeping their toys on a particular rug etc.. (I guess that was the “too structured” part.) I would love for my children to have gone to a Montessori school but unfortunately the one near me (which was the one I worked at 20 yrs ago) became more of a day care center and less “Montessori”. I know there is a “touchy feely” aspect of Montessori that you might be referring to but I never saw that cause the kids to be wimpy etc.. Of course I worked with 2-5 yr olds and never the elementary kids. I’d highly recommend Montessori techniques and programs to be used at home or for pre-school.

Jennifer

May 18th, 2012
11:00 am

One, let’s note that there was one fatality and one serious injury in 15 years. Two, both of those kids were two years old. Why are you trying to trap a toddler in a crib? My son was never a climber but he did climb up and kind of balance on the top of his crib twice when he was about 2 years, 5 months so we dropped him down to a toddler bed and put a baby gate on the door. Simple. And the toddler bed isn’t to keep them from getting out of bed, it’s a transition to sleeping in a big bed and if they roll out, they don’t have far to fall. Ours was just our crib, on the lowest setting, with the front removed.

mom2alex&max

May 18th, 2012
12:19 pm

Cribs are for BABIES. Babies cannot climb out. If they can climb, they are no longer babies, but toddlers and need to be moved to a bed. I never understood the whole crib tent thing. Sounds more like cage. Dear Lord, let your children grow up for pete’s sake!!

FCM

May 18th, 2012
12:40 pm

OK it is Friday so we need to discuss something other than baby deaths.

I think that most County’s will require grades be in by Tuesday so the mad dash to get something done is about over.

My house has one major project to finish — mostly because it is not diffiult, just a lot of work, and we had to concentrate efforts in a different subject for a serious push the last two days (and I am still praying that she passes that one!!!).

In light of all that I spoke to a bunch of parents in my community. I found out I was not the only whose student (normally A – B) was suddenly looking at flunking a subject.

It makes you wonder was it the lack of teachers (our Middle School is losing 5 for 2012 – 2013!!)?

Are classes harder?

Is there more work?

Is it the other stresses (families still trying to figure the new normal from economy, more parents looking for work, more parents working)?

Was it all the pregnant teachers this year, that then required long term subs to cover their leave?

Most of all are we the only parents anxiously counting the days down until this blasted school year is a memory?

Becky

May 18th, 2012
12:44 pm

Amen mom2alex&max..I don’t think any of the babies in my family slept in cribs after about 11 months..Nor did any of them have play tents..Play pens ( as I knew them) are nothing more than a cage for your child that yuou aren’t watching..

Also, as homeschooler said..Why spank them for being babies? At that age, kids start learning to climb, no need for spanking them..Pop them on the hand, tell them NO, usually works just fine..Don’t get me wrong, I do think that kids need spankings, just not at that age, when they don’t really know that what they are doing can hurt them..

JOD

May 18th, 2012
12:47 pm

@FCM – Amen! It’s beautiful outside AND it’s Friday! I’m not sure about wishing the school year away…DD starts Pre-K in August and I CAN’T believe it. We’re on the cusp of big kid school already :o)

Happy Friday, all!

Voice of Reason

May 18th, 2012
12:49 pm

I’ll play devil’s advocate here.

I’d like to know how many of these cribs were sold.

January 1997 and April 2012 is a LONG period of time to sell cribs. If only 27 times those cribs failed, that’s actually not that bad from an industry standard standpoint when you take into consideration that according to those same standards, every 10 times a plane takes off it should fall out of the sky.

Just saying, it’s horrible to have your kid hurt or killed but having a product fail only 27 times in a 15 year time span is not something that I think should necessitate an entire product recall.

You assume risks when you buy ANYTHING! It’s typically the people that do not think past the end of their own nose that have to learn that the hard way.

Voice of Reason

May 18th, 2012
12:54 pm

The standards I am referring to are called Six Sigma, look it up.

K's Mom

May 18th, 2012
2:00 pm

@JOD, I highly recommend the pool noodles (my cousin gave me the idea). They are easy to”install” unlike bedrails and it is super easy to change soiled sheets. I can even make the bed like normal. When the bed is made, you can obviously see the humps, but it has been an easy transition. Glad the toddler bed worked for you. My nephew would get out and play and we did not have that issue. K does sleep with toys now, but he entertains himself in bed until he falls asleep.

FCM

May 18th, 2012
2:00 pm

VOR you forgot to ask (and I did not see it up there)….in how many instances had the crib been found to have been used improperl? I had one come down on my hand (no serious injury and I think it was while i was changing the sheets) once because it had not been latched properly.

Mine were both in a twin bed by age 1. We put up a rail so they didn’t fall out.

FCM

May 18th, 2012
2:01 pm

awwwwww JOD those are bitter sweet times….your Kinder (in the fall) is going to be so AWESOME!

Becky

May 18th, 2012
2:15 pm

@K’s Mom..Have been forgeting this..Congrats on the new baby..Hope that all is going great for you and your family…:)

K's Mom

May 18th, 2012
2:27 pm

Thank you Becky. We are home and doing really well. I had no idea what it would be like to see my children together and it is breath taking. Our little L is asleep on my chest right now and K is napping. My husband is downstairs working and being a great care taker and huge help. I am exhausted, but blissfully happy and content. This is what I waited for my whole life and now I have it and am trying to savor each moment. Again, thank you for the well wishes.

Augusta

May 18th, 2012
2:32 pm

Congratulations K’sMom…I had no idea you had the baby!!!! Is it a girl or boy?

So sweet…….

K's Mom

May 18th, 2012
2:39 pm

Thanks Augusta. We had another boy! K is thrilled and already wants to play. He has done amazingly well with the transition with only brief spots of jealousy that pass very quickly. My mom is here during the week to help and that has been a huge blessing. Our Sunday school class and several friends have brought meals, so I have not had to think about that and that is another huge blessing. Again, I am so happy and trying to enjoy all of it!

JOD

May 18th, 2012
2:53 pm

@K’s Mom – Congrats!!!

@FCM – :o)

Becky

May 18th, 2012
3:07 pm

@K’s Mom..That sounds so nice..Glad that K is doing good with the new baby..I love babies and we are getting 4 (yep) new ones in my family within the next 6 mohts..One is due in June, one in Sept. and two have the same due date in Nov..Not to mention that we got a new one this past Dec. and another new one in March..

K's Mom

May 18th, 2012
3:40 pm

Becky, that should make family gatherings crazy fun! I am one of 15 grandchildren on my mom’s side and our gatherings as a kid were so much fun and crowded and crazy. I missed the chaos for years when the little ones got big and now they are beginning to become the fun chaos again with 5 great grandchildren under 7.

Denise

May 18th, 2012
3:49 pm

@ K’s Mom – Congratulations!!!

Becky

May 18th, 2012
3:57 pm

Wow..Sorry for all of the typos..

@K’s Mom..Yes, it does make them crazy..I’m number 9 of 10 kids, 15 grandkids and I don’t even know that actual count for the greats and great-greats..I have one sister that in Dec. got a grandson, in March, she got a great grandson..Two of the new ones are going to be greats for her also..Plus she already has a great grandson and a great grandaughter that are only 1 and 2 by the same grandson that is expecting a new baby in Sept….Bless his heart..:)

K's Mom

May 18th, 2012
4:37 pm

Enter your comments here

K's Mom

May 18th, 2012
4:37 pm

Thanks Denise and JOD!

jarvis

May 18th, 2012
4:48 pm

@VOR, I think you don’t quite follow the point of 6 Sigma if that is what you dervived. 6 Sigma for a crib tent part would be counted against manufacturing defects….not deaths resulting from the defects.

Defects per opportunity identifying the variation in the process…not horrible outcomes per opportunity of defect.

observer

May 18th, 2012
10:41 pm

@K’s Mom, congratulations on the birth of your son! Enjoy this wonderful time!

Crib tents? Never heard of them. Don’t disregard my opinion because the tents were not around when I reared 3 children. Would never “tent” a child in a crib, if they climb out of crib…time to move into a bed, period. Analyzing the structure and mechanisms, defects, and statistics of outcome of that which will hold a child in a crib??? And now recall and how many fretting over this? Good Lord. Take the child out of the crib, put the child in a bed and deal with it. A crib tent? Unbelievable.

Batyah

May 21st, 2012
5:10 pm

Those of you saying it’s a no brainer to put a toddler in a bed or blaming mothers for creating a cage-like sleep environment as if we just do it for kicks, you have no idea what life is like with multiples. Of course it all seems so easy if you have 1) a singleton or 2) an easygoing child. I have twin toddlers, male and active, and they are NOT ready for toddler beds. We already tried that. One boy is aggressive and picks on his brother. I need to protect the more timid boy. He has enough to deal with just enduring daytimes with his brother – he needs his night to be restful and for his crib to be a refuge. We don’t have but the one bedroom for the kids because we live in a small apartment so separating them is also not an option. Even if we babyproofed the room and put two mattresses down in there and locked the door as some have suggested as the “obvious” solution, it would not solve the problem BECAUSE we have TWO and one harasses the other. They are too young to respect a spanking and anyway when children are tired and overwrought, they are not in a learning mode. I have one crib tent which I used for the boy who first climbed out of his crib but now the other boy is doing it and I can’t find a crib tent anywhere, not even used. I’m really angry about this recall and angry at myself that I didn’t buy two at once, but how was I to know the item would not be there when and if I needed it. My husband and I both went in and examined the crib tent, trying to understand how on earth it could be dangerous. We put pressure on it from above, tugged at it from inside the dome, pulled at the velcro, etc, in an attempt to recreate a toddler’s efforts to get out. It is absolutely well constructed and well designed and it didn’t even budge. My boys are monsters and they haven’t been able to escape it, which tells me it’s pretty rock solid. My best guess is that the tragedies occurred in homes where the tent was not properly installed. We live in a litigious and blame-oriented society so whenever an accident happens, the product gets blamed and then recalled. I feel bad for the company that was forced out of business, and I feel bad for myself and all other mothers of multiples who need this item.

Batyah

May 21st, 2012
5:29 pm

Voice of Reason, I agree with you. There are numerous baby items that have been demonized or recalled because there were a FEW injuries or accidents that occurred over a decade or more. This is simply not reasonable. Same thing with dropside cribs. The dropside concept is not the problem, yet all have been banned. The danger appeared when cheap crib makers decided to save money by not using hardware anymore and instead invented this absurd “hidden hardware” concept which consists of a hole chiseled out of the side of the crib and a small wood nubbin in the dropside that was supposed to fit into the hole. Anyone could look at that and see it was a disaster waiting to happen because there was nothing to hold the rail securely to the crib nor to hold it securely in the up position. But the older dropsides that actually had METAL HARDWARE that locked the rail securely in place were never unsafe. Now short mothers have to deal with trying to lower a heavy baby down into a crib and are having wrist and thumb injuries from trying to dead lift a baby up from deep in a crib with an immoveable side.

lola

May 21st, 2012
6:08 pm

Help! My not even 8 month old was trying to hoist himself over the crib yesterday, friends suggested a crib tent, now that they’re recalled any other suggestions? He’s way too young for a toddler bed, he’s just a crawler w strong upper body strength. :-)

K's Mom

May 22nd, 2012
1:30 am

@lola, my brother went into a full sized bed at 10 months old because he was a climber and early walker. You may want to try the toddler bed or adult bed with no covers. Talk to your pediatrician. Mine always has good ideas.

K's Mom

May 22nd, 2012
1:37 am

@batyah, I agree that there is some over recalling going on. I wanted a seat for the tub that helps kids sit up in the bath when they are still not great sitters, but past the things they lie on. What is was looking for had been recalled because someone sat a child in one and left and the child drowned. I finally got one at a consignment sale and of course never left my child unattended in the tub.

We have three set of friends with twins and all belong to “multiples” groups in their areas. You may try google multiples groups in your area to find out if someone has one you couls buy from them. I know they all have consignment sales and that might be something you could find.

K's Mom

May 22nd, 2012
1:39 am

Sorry for all of the typos…I have a migraine and am groggy from the meds, but I hope you understand what I was trying to say.