Parents and parents to be take note. Health Canada is proposing changes to regulations concerning playpens and playards.
Health Canada has identified safety hazards involving the design of some playpens which can lead to the collapse of the top rails. In other cases, the gap between the mattress and the edge of the playpen is too large. Problems have been also identified with some accessories such as change tables and newborn nappers. Each of these issues lead to a risk of infant strangulation.
The proposed new regulations will introduce requirements and test methods for playpen accessories, particularly those that are intended for sleep. In addition, the new regulations will address collapsing of the playpen's top rails.
Between 1990 and September 2016, Health Canada received reports of 10 deaths, 1 serious injury, 31 minor injuries, and 114 incidents without injury involving playpens. In the past 10 years, there have been 19 voluntary playpen recalls. Eight recalls involved babies becoming entangled in the playpens, 6 were related to side-rail collapse and 5 involved playpen accessories.
My baby is too large to use the playpen accessories, but I used them when she was just wee without a second thought. Until the new regulations are finalized, parents should be cautious when using playpens - particularly if accessories are used as a place for babies to sleep.