Officials with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently announced tougher safety standards for child play yards. The new rules took effect in late January and they require all importers and manufactures of toddler and infant play yards to test them to make sure they're meeting the new standards.
Our Asheville child injury attorneys understand that parents expect these play yards to be a safe and reliable spot to keep our children. Unfortunately, there were holes in the safety standards that allowed these young children to face serious risks. As you may know, these play yards are areas that are framed and enclosed with a floor and a fabric or mesh side panels. These play areas can be folded up for easy moving or for storage. Unfortunately, their design wasn't as safe as it should be. And that's why OSHA officials stepped up to the plate.
Under the new play yard standards:
-The side rails of these play areas cannot form a sharp-V shape -- especially when folded. The elimination of this sharp V will help to eliminate the strangulation risks for children.
-The corner brackets on these devices are to be made stronger. This is going to help to eliminate sharp-edged cracks. The stronger brackets will also help to reduce the chances of these devices collapsing.
-The mattress attachments are required to be stronger. This is to help to keep the mattress down and to reduce the risks of children getting caught underneath. This is also going to reduce risks of them getting trapped, injured or suffocated.
All of these new standards fall under the Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act. This act is also referred to as "Danny's Law" and was named after a young child who died in a play yard in Chicago in 1998. He was napping in a play yard that had been recalled. It collapsed and he wound up suffocating.
For parents, it's not only important to make sure that you have a safe play yard and crib for your young ones, but it's important that you know how to properly use these devices. Every year, there are about 700 children under the age of 1 who are killing because of pillows and cushions placed in these areas. It's important that parents and guardians know what's safe for their young ones. About 60 percent of these fatalities are the result of suffocation from these items.
The safest place for your child to sleep is in a crib or in a play yard that meets these CPSC standards. This means that there should be no pillows, thick blankets, stuffed toys, or any other large items. If you're worried about your child getting cold, your best bet is to dress them in warm clothes. Blankets and quilts are more dangerous than warm.