Sleeping on the Go: Play Yards and Safetyby Katlyn Joy
Play yards can be a godsend when you are traveling or baby is staying over for the night or weekend at Grandmas, or when you are visiting childless friends. However, there are some reasons to be cautious when buying or borrowing these baby items.
According to the Child Product Safety Commission, up to 20 million cribs and play yards are still in use or in storage which are considered unsafe. Before using a loaned item check recalls.com to ensure your little one's safety.
- Holes in mesh must be smaller than a quarter inch.
- If using sheets, only use one meant for use with that particular model. Sheets must be tightly fitting in order to be safe for baby.
- No rivets, metal nuts or bolts should be protruding. This is to prevent the child from getting clothing snagged and becoming entrapped.
- The top rail latches must be automatically locking in order to prevent them from collapsing and entrapping and suffocating infants and toddlers.
- The mattress pad should not exceed one inch. This is to prevent a child becoming caught between the mattress and the side of the crib and suffocating.
Proper Use of Play Yards
- Only place one child in a play yard unless the product is specifically designed for more.
- Never place child in play yard with the sides down.
- Never use the play yard when the child has exceeded maximum weight or height limits.
- Once baby can stand, remove toys, blankets and items that can be used as makeshift stepping stools.
- Check for rips, tears, ill fitting mattresses or hardware that is protruding.
- Don't move the play yard while a child is inside it.
- Keep the play yard clear of mobiles or lines stringing across the top.
- Always keep baby in view while in the play yard.
- Keep play yards away from heating sources, stoves, fireplaces, cords from blinds or drapes, walls and heavy furniture.
- Never use a damaged play yard or attempt to patch or repair one yourself.
- Keep the play yard free of soft bedding.
- Make sure the legs on the play yard are tight and sit properly. Tipping over can cause serious injury to children.
Baby Corner's Top Picks
1. Graco Pack 'N Play Play Yard with Bassinett.
This model features a changing table, diaper stacker, mobile, and a carrying bag for convenience sake. For ease of use, there is a push button fold on the play yard.
2. Graco Pack 'N Play Play Yard Circle Time.
This model boasts durability, simplicity in design and use with a push button fold and automatically folding feet and wheels for compact travel. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles such as a changing table or mobile, but for parents with slightly older infants this may well be a plus.
3. Graco Totblock Pack 'N Play.
This model is distinguished by its larger play space, measuring 38 inches square. Most play yards are smaller and rectangular. This model also features simple set up, easy folding and a carrying bag for toting simplicity. It also has four bug toys to keep baby entertained.
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