According to CPSC, in 2011 alone there have been an estimated 2,200 injuries among children under the age of five due to playpens/play yards. Based on 2007-2009 data, CPSC estimates that the average number of deaths due to playpens is 12 per year. Some products are called play yards or portable cribs interchangeably, so review the hazards from the portable crib page as well.
Since 2007, nearly 2 million play yards have been recalled, involving 1,762 incident reports and 3 deaths. As of February 2013, manufacturers are required to test play yards to ensure that they meet new safety standards. This federal safety standard was passed as part of Danny’s Law.
Never add bedding or padding to a mesh sided play yard. Use only the pad which comes with the product. While “play yard” mattresses may be sold in some stores, they are not safe to use in mesh sided products. The baby can fall in a gap between the mattress and mesh side and suffocate.
A recall or a corrective action had been issued for play yards for various reasons including:
- Risk of serious injury or death if mis-assembled
- Choking or entanglement hazards
- Head entrapment or suffocation
- Risk of injury from tipping when legs on the product become loose and separate
- Plastic tabs that lock playpen rails into the corners can break or loosen, allowing rails to turn inward, collapse, and entrap an infant