The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has approved a new federal mandatory safety standard to improve the safety of play yards and to prevent injuries and deaths to children. The vote was 4 to 0.
The new federal standard incorporates provisions in the voluntary standard ASTM F 406-12a. Mandatory 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.
Section 104 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 requires CPSC to issue safety standards for durable infant or toddler products, including play yards. In addition to play yards, CPSC has issued mandatory safety standards for cribs, children's bed rails, baby bath seats, baby walkers and toddler beds.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals - contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @OnSafety or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.