Play yards are defined as framed enclosures with a floor and mesh or fabric side panels. Most can be folded for storage or travel. I affectionately call them Pack N’ Plays although that is a specific brand!
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, play yards that meet the new safety standard must have:
- Side rails that do not form a sharp V when the product is folded. This prevents a child from strangling in the side rail.
- Stronger corner brackets to prevent sharp-edged cracks and to prevent a side-rail collapse.
- Sturdier mattress attachments to the play yard floor to prevent children from getting trapped or hurt.
The new play yard standard is one of many safety standards that CPSC has passed as part of the Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act, or what the CPSC calls “Danny’s Law.” Danny Keysar was killed in Chicago in 1998 when a previously recalled play yard in which he was napping collapsed, suffocating him. This new play yard standard was completed in honor of Danny and his family.
This safety standard is one of many aimed at making sleep environments safer for our little ones. Parents are still reminded, even with these standards, to follow the ABC’s of safe sleep.