New federally mandated safety standards for infant and toddler play yards was approved this week by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Improvement in the safety of play yards is a much needed tool for the prevention of injuries and deaths to children. The vote was 4 to 0.
The new federal standard incorporates provisions in what was previously only voluntary standard. The new federally mandated requirements for play yards include:
- A stability test to prevent the play yard from tipping over.
- Latch and lock mechanisms to keep the play yard from folding on a child when it is being used.
- Entrapment tests for attachments so a child’s head does not get trapped while a bassinet or other accessory is attached.
- Floor strength tests to ensure structural integrity and to prevent children from getting trapped by the play yard floor.
- Minimum side height requirements to prevent children from getting out of the play yard on their own.
- A test to prevent play yards whose top rails fold downward from using a hinge that creates a V- or diamond shape when folded to prevent head or neck entrapments.
There were more than 2,100 incidents with play yards reported to CPSC, including 60 fatalities and 170 injuries, between November 2007 and December 2011.
The effective date for the mandatory play yard standard is six months after the final rule is published in the Federal Register.
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