Release date: March 2, 1983
Release number: 83-007

Release Details

The Consumer Product Safety Commission staff, in cooperation with the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), today warned parents that dropside mesh playpens and portable mesh cribs, used with a side left down, can pose a severe safety hazard to infants. When one side of the playpen or crib is down, the mesh forms a loose pocket which leaves a gap between the edge of the floor board and the mesh side. An infant can fall or roll into the pocket and suffocate.

It is extremely dangerous to leave a child in mesh sided playpens or portable cribs with the dropside in the down position. The dropsides should always be up and locked securely in position whenever a child is in the playpen or crib. The dropside in the down position presents a serious risk of suffocation to very young infants.

Three infants died of suffocation in 1982 in mesh playpens and portable cribs. In each incident, an infant was left unattended in a crib or playpen with one of the two dropsides in the down position. After falling off the edge of the mattress pad, the infant's head or chest was compressed between the floor board and the mesh side so the child was unable to continue breathing.

Playpens and portable cribs with mesh sides have been produced for approximately 23 years and distributed nationwide. An estimated 6.5 million mesh playpens and 925,000 cribs may be in the possession of consumers.

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