Standards and guidelines for playpen and playard safety
The phrase "sleep like a baby" can seem ironic to parents who've had to deal with a wailing infant at 2AM. But it also conveys a state of security and comfort that all parents desire for their children. One of the most important ways of ensuring that your baby sleeps like a baby is by following the standards and guidelines for playpen and play yard safety.
Product certification is only one aspect of play pen or yard safety. It's also critical that you follow the manufacturer's assembly instructions and the safety guidelines listed within the owner's manual, including maximum weight or size guidelines. In addition, the JPMA and CPSC have put forward a number of safety tips for proper use.
Following these safety guidelines will help prevent accidents or injuries when using your play yard:
- Don't add pillows, thick quilts, or extra padding, as these may pose a suffocation risk. Use the provided mattress, and check that there are no gaps wider than two fingers between the mattress and the side of the play yard.
- Avoid placing your play pen or yard next to windows with long cords from curtains, blinds, etc., or other strangulation hazards. Also, toys should not be tied to or hung from play yards.
- The slats of wooden models should be no more than 2 3/8 inch apart. The mesh holes of play yards should be no bigger than ¼ inch.
- Do not place your baby in a play yard until it is fully erected and all features are latched and/or secured.
- Check regularly for damage or holes/tears. Discontinue use if there are tears, punctures, or protrusions, or if the play yard's hinges are not functioning properly.