As of February 28, 2013, importers and manufacturers of infant and toddler play yards, sometimes referred to as playpens, are required by law to test their products so they meet new safety standards designed to prevent injuries and deaths to children. New play yards must be tested for stability to prevent tipping, minimum side height requirements to prevent children from climbing out of the play yard, and lock mechanisms that prevent the play yard from collapsing while in use.
Since 2007, play yards have been involved in about 50 deaths and about 2,000 non-fatal incidents. Most deaths involved children one year old and younger. If you are a child care provider or parent, you may want to consider these new standards and replace older r hand-me-down equipment
•Side rails that do not form a sharp V when the product is folded. This prevents a child from strangling in the side rail.
•Stronger corner brackets to prevent sharp-edged cracks and to prevent a side-rail collapse.
•Sturdier mattress attachments to the play yard floor to prevent children from getting trapped or hurt.
Even with stricter safety standards, its still up to the caregiver to insure proper use. Play yards are only meant for chilren under 35 inches tall or cannot climb out of the crib. Parents should also be aware that the primary cause of play yard deaths suffication due to extra bedding, such as pillows, quilts and comforters. Keep your child's sleep safe as bare as possible and make sure they have plenty of room to move around.
Words: Malika Lewis
Follow on Twitter: @malikaforreal