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.