Playpens can cause serious injury if they tip over easily, collapse or have gaps which can trap a child’s fingers, limbs or head/neck. Make sure you buy a sturdy playpen with no dangerous gaps or pinch points and with no footholds which a child may use to climb out.
Playpens are used to limit children’s play areas as they become increasingly mobile during their first 12 months. Playpens with a floor, where the floor is provided as a supportive base and is an integral component of the product, are regarded as folding cots and must comply with the requirements of the mandatory standard for those products.
There is a risk of strangulation if a child's head becomes trapped between the side bars of a playpen, or if sharp parts snag their clothing.
Playpens that don’t have strong sides or well-secured latches may tip over or collapse if children lean on the sides. If children fall this way, they can suffer serious injuries.
- Choose a strong, sturdy playpen that won’t tip over when your child leans on the sides. It helps to choose a heavier model rather than a lighter one.
- Check that folding parts have latches that lock securely and cannot be undone by a baby.
- Check that the playpen has no sharp fittings or parts that might snag clothing.
- Check that the playpen is more than 500 mm high and the spaces between the side bars are between 50 mm and 95 mm—larger gaps can trap a child’s head.
- Ensure all latches are locked securely before use to prevent the playpen accidentally collapsing and trapping the baby.
- Remove any toys or objects from inside or next to the playpen that your child can use to climb on, to avoid the child falling.
- Keep the playpen clear of heaters, stoves and power points to avoid burns and electrocution.
- Keep the playpen away from blinds and curtain cords as these may catch around the baby’s neck and cause strangulation.