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Play Yards to be Subject to New Federal Safety Standards

Starting February 28, the makers and importers of play yards for toddlers and babies will have to start testing these products to make sure that they satisfy new safety standards. It is our child injury lawyers’ hope that these federal requirements will help to keep children safe as they sleep and play in these portable, mesh and fabric enclosures where they may be left unsupervised.

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When Danny’s Law, which is Section 104 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, came out last year, it mandated that a play yard must:

• Pass a stability test ensuring that it isn’t prone to tipping over.
• Come with mechanisms that prevent it from folding when there is a child inside it.
• Be free of entrapment hazards (including that any attachments/accessories won’t trap a child and the play yard’s floor should be strong enough that the toddler/baby won’t get stuck in it in some way.
• Meet minimum side height requirements so that a child can’t get out in his/her own.

Addressing the new standards this month, CPSC said that play yards need to:

• Come with side rails that don’t form a sharp V when folded.
• Include sturdier corner brackets so that sharp-edged cracks don’t occur and side rails don’t collapse.
• Have stronger mattress attachments to its floor so kids don’t get hurt or entrapped.

The standard is named after Danny Keysar, who died in a play yard injury accident when the enclosure collapsed on him while he was napping and he suffocated. That particular play yard model was previously recalled.

Considering there were over 2,100 play yard incidents reported to the CPSC between 2007 and 2011 that included 170 injuries and 60 fatalities, these new federal standards can’t come too soon. At The Gilbert Law Group®, our nursery product lawyers represent clients whose children were injured by defective play yards, cribs, baby walkers, strollers, infant swings, toddler beds, car seats, infant carriers, bassinets, and other toddler and baby items.

Common Cause of Play Yard Injuries and Deaths:
• Suffocation
• Entrapment
• Fall accidents
• Strangulation

Such incidents can happen when the play yard has defects that make it unsafe for a child to sleep or play. Also, approximately 90% of play yard incidents reported to the CPSC involved a collapsed side rail. This is the type of product failure can lead to entrapment, strangulation, and fall injuries. Also, a collapsed side rail makes it easier for a toddler to escape from a play yard without adult supervision.

It is also important to note that play yard suffocation accidents can happen because the bedding used is too soft, there are too many pills or blankets, or because a child was allowed to sleep face down. Just recently, the company 4moms recalled about 1440 of its Cotton Jersey Playard Sheets because they are too small for play yards. The CPSC says that sheets that aren’t a proper fit are an entrapment hazard, which can lead to suffocation injuries and deaths.

Your case consultation with one of our experienced play yard injury attorneys is free.

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