Health Canada Proposing Playpen Safety Regulations

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Attention, parents and child care providers: The feds are looking to change requirements for playpens to make them safer.

“When parents purchase a playpen, they should have confidence that it will provide a safe environment for their child,” Minister of Health Jane Philpott said in a statement.

“The proposed changes will further strengthen safety requirements for these products in order to better protect infants and young children.”

Ten deaths, one serious injury, 31 minor injuries, and 114 cases without injury comprise the 156 playpen-related incidents reported to Health Canada between 1990 and September 2016.

Safety hazards are linked to certain playpen designs and/or accessories, such as change tables.

While convenient, these features include risk of strangulation in collapsed side rails and suffocation on angled mattress pads.

Health Canada is proposing to replace current requirements under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act with the new Playpens Regulations.

The proposed regulations address unintentional folding or collapse of the playpen’s top rails, and the introduction of requirements and test methods for playpen accessories, including those intended for unsupervised infant sleep.

Modifications were developed to help address identified safety issues and align the majority of the Canadian requirements with those in the U.S.

Between 1995 and October 2016, Health Canada negotiated 19 voluntary recalls with industry that were related to playpens — eight were linked to entanglement, six were related to side-rail collapse, and five involved playpen accessories.

Parachute Canada’s interim CEO, Pamela Fuselli, says she supports the proposed requirements.

The stricter standards that Health Canada has introduced “will offer parents and caregivers better peace of mind when using products that children play and interact with on a daily basis,” said Fuselli in a statement.

Canadians are being asked to submit feedback until June 6.

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