Playpen safety

Keeping your child safe in a playpen

It is very important to make sure a playpen is assembled correctly before using it. Follow the manufacturer's instructions completely, as well as the playpen's weight and age restrictions. All playpens must have a label citing the manufacturer, model and date of manufacture.

Tips to remember

  • Playpens are not intended to be used for unsupervised sleep because they do not meet the same safety requirements and are not as durable as cribs.
  • If a change table or bassinet is provided as an accessory for the playpen, always follow the manufacturer's instructions for assembly and use.
  • Never place a baby in a playpen while the change table or bassinet accessory is still in place. A baby's head can become trapped in the gap that is created between the accessory and the playpen and strangle or suffocate.
  • Do not place a baby to sleep on the change table accessory.
  • When in use, the sides of a playpen should be securely locked in place. Never leave a baby in a playpen with the side down; the baby can roll into the space between the mattress and the mesh side and suffocate.
  • Do not add blankets, pillows or an extra mattress to the playpen. The use of these items could lead to suffocation.
  • Make sure the floor pad is firm. Worn-down floor pads could pose a suffocation hazard.
  • Check for tears in vinyl rail coverings, mesh panels and the mattress pad itself. Babies can bite off small pieces and choke.
  • Supervise a child in a playpen at all times.
  • Make sure sides are fully raised and locked before placing a baby in the playpen -- if the sides are not locked a "V" shape can be created in which the baby can strangle.
  • Never put cords, scarves or necklaces in the playpen or around your baby's neck.
  • Never put a playpen near a window or patio door where blinds or curtain cords are within reach, as these pose strangulation risks.
  • Place the playpen away from stairs, doors, furniture and appliances.
  • Remove mobiles as soon as your baby can push up on his or her hands and knees.
  • Do not put large stuffed animals or toys in a playpen -- your baby could use these to climb out.
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