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New Federal Standards For Play Yards Set to Take Effect

Play yards are a favorite product for parents because they allow children to play in a confined area. Unfortunately, not all of these products keep children safe.

In fact, there were more than 2,100 incidents with play yards, including 60 fatalities and 170 injuries, between November 2007 and December 2011, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. To help prevent these injuries, new mandatory safety standards to improve play yard safety will take effect this month.

The new play yard rules 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 check 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.

The new play yard standards become effective on February 28, 2013. They will apply to all play yards manufactured or imported on or after that date.