Playpen safety tips

A playpen is designed to provide a safe enclosed environment for baby to play. This piece of equipment can be invaluable for some parents in certain situations. All children are different, and whilst some find independence and are quick learners, some may need to be supervised more closely. Whilst the use of a playpen is kept minimal, it is essential that it is a safe area.

Here are some guidelines for keeping baby safe in a playpen:

Safety first

It is essential to be cautious to ensure that your child is kept safe at all times. A playpen needs to conform to safety standards and be in excellent condition. Any damage could present a danger to your child. If in doubt, throw it out. A playpen needs to be safe, sturdy and provide a secure area. Consider if your child is a climber and how strong your child is, as this could cause a safety issue. Only use a playpen if you’re sure your child will be safe.

Location of the playpen

The place the playpen is situated is of utmost importance. It needs to be centrally located to be in your view to be able to supervise your child at all times. It is essential that it is placed away from power points, cables, drapes, electronic equipment and anything a baby could climb onto. Anything that is within reach is likely to gain your baby’s attention, and she may well try to climb to reach it. Anything which can be reached could be a danger to baby. In addition, anything that could be pulled down onto baby, or that she could get entangled in needs to be kept well out of reach.

Prevent climbing

Once your child becomes mobile it is essential that no toys are placed in the playpen that could be used to climb on. Be aware of what your child is capable of, and ensure there are never any opportunities for her to climb. Anything which could be used to stand on could give her enough height to pull herself over the top of the playpen. Keep this in mind as she becomes mobile and ensure to only place items into the playpen that are safe for this environment.

Keep it secure

Always ensure that all the sides of the playpen are secured together, and that it is assembled in the correct way. Never leave any of the sides down, as this could pose a potential danger. Any areas of damage must be inspected. For playpens that have mesh sides it is important to check for wear and tear of the fabric, and holes, no matter how small, can present a danger. Metal and plastic playpens need to also be inspected regularly to ensure there is no damage or loosening of the fittings.

Playpen toys

The toys which are left in the playpen need to be age-appropriate and safe for your child to play with when supervision is lowered. Ensure there is nothing that is broken, can cause a choking hazard and that there are no toys that can cause entanglement. It is best to refrain from hanging toys from the sides of the playpen, as children are constantly developing and become curious. Anything that is a potential hazard needs to be kept out of reach. Only have toys that you feel happy to leave your child with unattended should you have your back turned for a few seconds.

When it comes to playpen safety ensure that you regularly inspect the playpen for wear and tear, and check that it is sturdy and none of the frame is coming lose. Place the playpen in a safe area that is easy for you to monitor whilst tending to other tasks. Keep toys simple and basic and leave out anything which could pose a danger. Keep the user manual for reference to know the weight and age limitations. In addition, inspect the playpen regularly to ensure that it is kept in good, safe condition.