5 Play Yard Health and Safety Tips Every Parent Should Know
Setting up a play yard for your infants and toddlers is a great way to ensure that they have a safe place to play while you attend to other things like household chores, food preparation, or even taking a much-needed nap or shower. These enclosures are designed to provide your tiny tots with a bit of room to roam around without the fear that they’ll wander off or get into trouble. And any parent that has tried to keep an eye on an infant that has just learned to crawl, a baby that is starting to climb the furniture in his first attempts to stand, or a toddler that is careening around the house and yard on his newfound legs knows that sometimes you need to confine your kids in order to get a moment’s respite or get anything done. That said, you want to make sure that the play yard you set up, either outside or in, is suitable for the health and safety of your child. Here are a few tips along those lines.
- Read consumer reports. If you want to make sure that you start off on the right foot with this piece of equipment you need to begin by reading consumer reports. The agencies that test these items will not only let you know how they might work for your child, but they’ll also inform you of any potential hazards associated with products, as well as relate recall information. This can help you to pick the safest play yard on the market for your baby.
- Read instructions. Some play yards may require assembly, and you need to read and follow instructions precisely in order to make sure that the finished product won’t pose any health or safety risks for your child. In addition, instructions will almost certainly tell you how to use the equipment appropriately so that no harm will come to your child. It’s important that you take recommended precautions; if you fail in your duties as a parent your child will be the one that suffers.
- Know height and weight limits. Babies grow pretty fast, and while most play yards are designed to take your child through the infant and toddler stages, the truth is that all kids grow and develop at different rates. Knowing your products limitations for height and weight reduces the risk that your child will either break the enclosure or manage to escape.
- Avoid excessive toys, pillows, and blankets. Many play yards come with padding while others are merely a fence. Either way, you need to be careful about how many pillows, blankets, and toys you allow inside since they can become a possible suffocation risk while your child is napping, or a tripping hazard if he is walking.
- Place the play yard with care. Where you put the play yard for babies and toddlers is almost as important as how it is assembled and what you put in it. For example, you might want to place it near a window so your child can look out. But if he can reach the cord for the curtains or blinds it could become a choking or strangulation hazard. And if you put him outside, it’s a good idea to make sure he’s in a shady area so that his sensitive skin doesn’t burn. A little common sense goes a long way when it comes to keeping your child healthy and safe within his playard.