South Plainfield Company Recalls 10,000 Imported Playpens Due to Strangulation Hazard

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ–A manufacturer of baby products with a history of recalls has recalled about 10,000 imported playpens sold by several online retailers including Amazon, Kohl’s, Toy ‘R Us, and Walmart, from March 2010 through January 2014, over a strangulation hazard.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC's) recall notice, no injuries or incidents associated with the $60 playpen have been reported.

The “hazard,” says the recall notice is: “The Play Yard’s rails can collapse, presenting a strangulation hazard to young children.”

“All companies are required by law to provide whatever their remedy was agreed upon, whether it’s a repair, replacement or refund, depending on the recall,” CPSC spokesperson Carla Coolman told NBToday.

In this recall, the “remedy” is to immediately stop using the recalled playpen and contact the company, Dream On Me Inc., located in South Plainfield, to request a free repair kit.

Additional injury reports “might be listed on saferproducts.gov., which is our database where people can actually look up incident reports or they can look up recall information,” said Coolman.

“It’s a system that allows both consumers and companies to report any incidents.”

Coolman explained that incident reports could be publicly listed on the initial recall announcement, subsequent recall expansions or re-announcements, or SaferProducts.gov.

Aside from the playpen, the CPSC website shows recall notices for eight other Dream On Me products from 2004 to the present:

  • baby walkers (2004)
  • drop-side cribs (2011)
  • high chairs (2012)
  • infant swings (2012)
  • bed rails (2012)
  • bath seats (2012)
  • cradle gliders in (2013)
  • another model of high chairs (2014)

New federal safety standards for cribs went into effect in 2011.  Under the new federal rules no companies are allowed to make or sell drop-side cribs.  

Still, Dream On Me’s own website makes no mention of its 2011 drop-side cribs recall “due to entrapment suffocation,” or its 2004 recall of baby walkers.

Dream On Me recalled its bath seats in 2012 due to a drowning hazard. Injuries have been reported and documented on cpsc.gov. However, the information on Dream On Me's website states that no injuries have been reported. 

While the recall notice on the CPSC website shows one recall notice for 10 models of Dream On Me bath seats, the company has posted three separate notices regarding the bath seats on its own website. Either Dream On Me has not updated its website or, wants it to look like it has listed a total of nine recalls. (Strangely, there are a total of nine recall notices for Dream On Me at cpsc.gov.)

One recall announcement found on Dream On Me’s website is for two models of lattice bed rails.  It says that the CPSC has identified the following potential risk of injury: “If the bed rail separates from the mattress, a child could become entrapped between the mattress and the rail, creating suffocation and strangulation hazards.”

The recall announcement instructs consumers to destroy the recalled bed rail by cutting the mesh, thereby making it unusable. Consumers are asked to take two pictures of the unusable bed rail showing the cut mesh and send them to the company.

However, Dream On Me will not be replacing the bed guards. Instead, upon receipt of the photos and proof of purchase, it will mail a refund check for the purchase price shown on the receipt.

The announcement reminds consumers not to return the bed guards: “The bed guards should not be returned to the manufacturer or retailer. After making the item unusable, you can dispose of it with your household trash.”

“Please do not attempt to sell, re-sell or donate the recalled products as we do not want a child to be injured and it is against the law to resell a recalled product,” the announcement added.

One incident reported on saferproducts.gov tells a scary story of a child injured in one of the company's cribs: "My 14 month old daughter was injured in the front crib slat of the Dream on Me Inc. 3 in 1 convertible crib, style no. 626 mfg. October 2012 on 6/13/14."

"Looking at the front of the crib, she got her knee wedged in the front of the crib, 2nd or 3rd front slat from the right side of the front, and had twisted her body so she was stuck. She was screaming her head off and this left bruising on her knee and thigh. If I had been in the shower or something, she would have broken her leg."

A comment that appears to be from the company on June 24 reads, "We are sorry about the indecent that occurred, all our cribs are manufactured with the correct spacing between the slots, these are all Lab tested and approved. it's unfortunate that kids can get their little hands and legs through these slots."

The Better Business Bureau gave the company an “F.”

Dream On Me did not return an email requesting comment for this story.

Dave is an award-winning business reporter who has authored over 200 articles for New Brunswick Today.