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Canada Amends Safety Requirements for Playpens

Canada has modified effective 3 April 2019 its mandatory safety standards for playpens by including additional performance requirements and test methods to address unintentional folding or collapse of the playpen’s top rail and introducing performance requirements and test methods for playpen accessories, including accessories intended for infant sleep. Canadian authorities believe these changes will help improve the safety of these products and further safeguard against injuries and deaths by aligning the majority of the Canadian requirements with U.S. mandatory rules and current Canadian regulations for cribs, cradles and bassinets.

Since the original playpen safety regulations entered into force in September 1976, playpen designs have evolved and new safety hazards – such as those associated with playpens with sleep and other accessories – have emerged. Canadian authorities note that despite outreach activities continued incidents highlighted the need for regulatory changes to improve the safety of playpens and playpen accessories by, for example, limiting the size of openings between playpen rails and playpen accessories; limiting the angles of sleep surfaces; including requirements for latching and locking of top rails as well as for the strength and integrity of top rails; limiting projections on playpens; limiting the length of accessible straps; and mandating that warnings be present specifying to never put a child to sleep on a change table accessory or place soft bedding in the playpen. Health Canada also received requests from playpen manufacturers for greater alignment of Canadian and U.S. requirements, which the new standards have sought to accomplish.

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