CPSC Amends Safety Standard for Play Yards
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a final rule amending the mandatory safety standard on play yards to incorporate by reference the most recent version of ASTM’s play yard standard, ASTM F406-13. This rule will become effective Feb. 19, 2014, and will apply to all play yards manufactured or imported on or after that date.
ASTM F406-13 defines a play yard as a framed enclosure that includes a floor and has mesh or fabric sided panels primarily intended to provide a play or sleeping environment for children. It may fold for storage or travel. Play yards are intended for children who are less than 35 inches tall and cannot climb out of the product. Some play yards include accessory items that attach to the product, such as mobiles, toy bars, canopies, bassinets and changing tables. The accessory item usually attaches to the side rails or corner brackets of the play yard.
A bassinet/cradle accessory is defined in ASTM F406-13 as an elevated sleep surface that attaches to a play yard designed to convert the product into a bassinet/cradle intended to have a horizontal sleep surface while in a rest (non-rocking) position. Bassinet accessories commonly consist of a textile shell that provides an elevated sleep surface within the play yard. The floor of the bassinet accessory is typically the same dimensions as the play yard floor. Usually, the segmented mattress pad that is used on the floor of the play yard is inserted into the bassinet shell. The floor of the bassinet accessory is typically reinforced with mattress support rods to ensure a flat, stable sleep surface. The top edges of the sides of the bassinet accessory can be secured to the play yard top rails with any number of devices, most often plastic clips sewn onto the sides of the shell. Metal rods may also be used to secure the bassinet to the play yard. These metal rods are usually inserted into a sleeve on the top edge of the shell’s side wall and clipped into a play yard’s corner brackets.
The CPSC states that through this final rule it is addressing hazards associated with play yard bassinet accessories that can be assembled without key structural elements. Specifically, this rule requires all such elements – which are defined as all structures that attach the bassinet accessory to the play yard – to either be permanently attached to the bassinet accessory or pass the catastrophic failure test.