Check for potentially dangerous openings before buying a playpen
Parents should set up a playpen and examine it for potentially dangerous openings before buying it, the Germany Green Cross said, dpa reported.
Playpens often have too many spaces when they are set up or they cannot hold the indicated amount of weight, according to a test by the Bavarian trade supervisory centre. In addition, some have cords and ties that can pose a strangulation risk.
When selecting a playpen, parents should ensure it has a seal, showing that it meets safety and quality standards. In Germany, the seal has the initials GS, which means it has been tested for safety.
In particular, there should be no space between the frame of the playpen and the floor where a child could get his or her finger or another body party caught.
Also, the space between the railings should not be so large that a child could put his or her head into it. If the playpen has wheels on the bottom, at least two of them must have a brake mechanism attached to them, experts say.
Parents should also inspect the playpen for sharp corners or jagged-edged screws and ensure that there are no splinters on any wooden parts, the Green Cross said. Parents also should be aware that playpens that have no floor or foundation pose a danger because a child can push it over or pick it up.