Despite the number of recalls and news reports of serious injury and even many deaths, the danger of portable cribs and play yards still exist – these products are still on the market. Play yards are framed enclosures with a floor and fabric or mesh side panels. Most can be folded for travel or storage. Some products have wheels, come with mobiles, bassinets, changing tables, and vibration options. The terms play yard, or playard, pack and play or playpens are sometimes used interchangeably. Portable or Travel Cribs are smaller than full-size cribs and most models can be collapsed for carrying – such as to and from childcare facilities and smaller areas. Unlike play yards, portable cribs do not have mesh/net/screen or other non-rigid construction.
About 1,700 injuries in 2016 were treated in emergency rooms that were related to play yards, the CPSC estimates. And between 2012-2014, the average number of deaths due to playpens averaged 16 per year. That is 16 deaths too many and begs the question why these sleepers are still on the market.
If your child has been injured or killed in a defective portable crib or play yard, you may be entitled to recover damages from the party or parties responsible. Child-injury lawyer Jeffrey Killino is dedicated to helping children and families obtain the compensation they deserve. Contact Jeffrey Killino at 877-875-2927 to learn about your legal options.
Play Yard and Portable Crib Recalls
Historically, recalls have been issued for portable cribs and play yards for four main reasons:
- Risk of serious injury or death if assembled incorrectly
- Choking or entanglement hazards
- Head entrapment or suffocation
- Risk of injury from tipping when legs on the product become loose and separate.
Play yards have been involved in about 50 deaths and about 2,000 non-fatal incidents, including 165 incidents that resulted in injuries such as cuts and bruises since November 2007, reports the CPSC. The majority of the infant deaths were 1-year-old or younger.
Play Yard deaths included:
- children who climbed out of the play yard and drowned in a nearby pool. Caregivers should remember that play yards are meant for children who are less than 35 inches tall and who cannot climb out of the play yard.
- entrapment from a collapsed play yard,
- strangulation from a looped strap hanging in the play yard
- entrapment between an unfolded mattress pad and the play yard floor liner.
The Dream on Me Incredible play yards were recalled in 2014 due to risk of collapsing and presenting a strangulation hazard. About 90 percent of incident reports received by the CPSC describe the collapse of the play yard’s side rail. If the side rail collapses, a child can get their neck entrapped in the collapsed side rail, lose their footing and strangle. Side rail collapses also are dangerous because children can escape and may be injured outside the play yard.
The latest sleeper recall occurred on June 27, 2019. Unbelievably, in the wake of the huge Fisher-Price Rock-N-Play recall, the company is recalling yet another product for infant death hazard – the same danger that rocker-inclined sleepers pose.
Fisher-Price and the CPSC recalled 71,000 inclined sleeper accessories included with all models of Fisher-Price Ultra-Lite Day & Night Play Yards on June 27, 2019. No deaths or injuries have been associated with the product — and there is no apparent product defect. The recall states that, “infant fatalities have been reported while using other inclined sleep products, after the infants rolled from their backs to their stomachs or sides while unrestrained, or under other circumstances.”
Consumers are warned to “immediately stop using the inclined sleeper accessory” but they can “continue to use the play yard portion of the product without the inclined sleeper accessory, and can also continue to use the changing station clutch accessory and carry bag.”
Nationally-recognized child injury attorney Jeffrey Killino has handled a wide variety of defective product cases, including those arising out of injuries and deaths caused by portable cribs and play yards. Our experienced attorneys, paralegals, and investigators share the goal of helping injured families win the compensation they need and the justice they deserve. If your child has been hurt or killed in a preventable accident caused by negligence or a defective product, call us today at 1-877-875-2927.
Portable Crib and Play Yard Safety Standards
There is good news. According to a report by Kids in Danger, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting children by fighting for product safety, for the first time in ten years no cribs were recalled in 2016. This demonstrates that tougher mandatory standards have a positive effect on crib safety. And it demonstrates the need for tougher standards for any child sleeper, including portable cribs and play yards. Some experts are calling for mandatory standards to be more rigorous for all nursery products. Portable cribs (and non-full size cribs) must adhere to crib standards that went into effect in 2011.
Tragically, in 2002 the CPSC reported 156 crib-related deaths, some of which involved portable cribs. Yet up until 2008 manufacturers were not required to test products for safety before they hit the market.
Finally, in 2013 manufacturers were required to test play yards to ensure that they meet new safety standards, which are part of Danny’s Law. (Danny Keysar was killed in Chicago in 1998 when a recalled play yard he was napping in collapsed, suffocating him. This new play yard standard is in honor of Danny and his family.)
If you use a play yard, the CPSC recommends that you:
- Keep it bare when you put a baby into it—the CPSC receives reports of infant suffocation death every year even with these safety standards in place.
- Never add bedding or padding to a mesh sided play yard.
- Use only the pad that comes with the product.
- While “play yard” mattresses may be sold in some stores, they are not safe to use in mesh sided products.
Manufacturers know how to market their products: they can give parents an artificial sense of security by marketing their portable cribs and play yards as the “safest place for your infant” when in fact they could be a death trap. A few manufacturers go so far –and paradoxically do so little—to simply change descriptions for the intended uses of the products.
For example, when Graco came under fire about its DreamGlider Gliding Seat & Sleeper, the company removed “& Sleeper” from the product’s name on its website. According to a company spokesperson, Graco made the change after “a thorough internal review” to “help prevent consumer misinterpretation of how the product should be used. When the products are used as a napper, they are not intended for unsupervised or prolonged periods of sleep.”
Child crib death attorney Jeffrey Killino is not only an experienced lawyer, but a child advocate. When a child injury occurs, whether it is a because of a faulty portable crib or play yard, he has the know-how and resources to guide you through the legal process to get what you and your family are entitled to. If your infant has suffered a traumatic injury or died because of a company’s negligence, Jeffrey Killino can help. Contact child play yard and crib death attorney Jeffrey Killino today at 877-875-2927.