The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) unanimously approved new play yard safety standard that make several tests and regulations mandatory for manufacturers.
After advocacy work from Kids In Danger (KID), Consumers Union, the Consumer Federation of America, and other individuals and groups, CPSC moved to mandate the new regulations, which 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 childâ€™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.
These standards were previously voluntary, however CPSCâ€™s vote now makes them mandatory and they will likely go into effect in December, or whatever date is six months from when they are published in the Federal Register.
The new regulations will ideally help to curb the more than 2,100 incidents associated with play yards, including 60 fatalities and 170 injuries, reported between November 2007 and December 2011.
Do you own a play yard? Have questions or concerns? Let us know in the comments.