Schakowsky Celebrates New CPSC Child Safety Requirements for Play Yards
WASHINGTON, DC (June 27, 2012) – Today Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) joined the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to celebrate tough new safety requirements for play yards or enclosed playpens for children - following the Commission’s vote on a new standard that is the strongest in the world.
Between November 2007 and December 2011 there were more than 2,100 incidents with play yards, including 50 fatalities and more than 170 injuries. In 1998, 16-month-old Danny Keysar was killed when he was trapped in a previously-recalled folding play yard that collapsed while he was napping at his Chicago daycare. “Danny’s Law,” which was introduced by Rep. Schakowsky and became law in 2008 as part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), requires mandatory federal standards for more than a dozen durable juvenile products, including play yards.
“Danny Keysar wasn’t the first child to be tragically lost in a defective play yard – and sadly, he wasn’t the last,” said Rep. Schakowsky. “It is unacceptable that children have been injured and killed in accidents that are 100 percent preventable. Now, today, we honor Danny’s memory by celebrating the establishment of a new mandatory safety standard for play yards. Make no mistake – this stronger standard will save lives.”
The mandatory federal standard’s requirements for play yards include:
- Stability test to prevent the play yard from tipping over
- Latch and lock mechanisms need to keep the play yard from folding on a child when it is being used
- Entrapment tests for attachments so a child’s head does not get trapped while a bassinet or other accessory is attached
- Requires floor strength tests to ensure structural integrity
- Tests to prevent play yard floor entrapment
- Minimum side height requirements to prevent children from getting out of the play yard on their own
- A test to prevent play yards whose top rails fold downward from using a hinge that creates a V- or diamond shape when folded to prevent head/neck entrapments
Rep. Schakowsky first introduced Danny’s Law, the Infant and Toddler Durable Product Safety Act, in November of 2001. In addition to play yards and cribs, it required safety standards for products like high chairs and bath seats, the types of products that are saved by families and used for multiple children. Provisions from the bill were included in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which became law in 2008. Since the law was enacted, the CPSC has been working to establish mandatory safety standards for durable infant and toddler products. So far, Rep. Schakowsky’s provision has resulted in a ban on drop-side cribs and stricter safety standards for infant bath seats and baby walkers, full-size and non-full-size cribs, toddler beds, and portable bed rails.
“There is more to be done to improve safety standards for children,” said Schakowsky. “The Consumer Product Safety Commission should move forward with efforts to establish a standard for bassinet attachments on play yards so that all components of these products are safe. We also need to work to educate the public, including childcare centers and other facilities small and large that offer play yards for use to ensure that they are aware of the new safety standard.”
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Contact: Adjoa Adofo, (202) 225-2111