20 July 2012
CPSC Approves New Federal Safety Standard for Play Yards
The Consumer Product Safety Commission voted unanimously on 29 June to approve the issuance of a new mandatory federal safety standard for play yards. The new standard incorporates provisions in the voluntary standard ASTM 406-12a, including (i) a stability test to prevent the play yard from tipping over; (ii) latch and lock mechanisms to keep the play yard from folding on a child when it is being used; (iii) entrapment tests for attachments so a child's head does not get trapped while a bassinet or other accessory is attached; (iv) floor strength tests to ensure structural integrity and to prevent children from getting trapped by the play yard floor; (v) minimum side height requirements to prevent children from getting out of the play yard on their own; and (vi) 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 mandatory standard will enter into force 60 days from its date of publication in the Federal Register.
Section 104 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 requires the CPSC to issue safety standards for durable infant or toddler products. In addition to play yards, the CPSC has issued mandatory safety standards for cribs, children's bed rails, baby bath seats, baby walkers and toddler beds. The CPSC notes that there were more than 2,100 incidents with play yards between November 2007 and December 2011, including 60 fatalities and 170 injuries.