On April 16, 2013, Health Canada released a public consultation proposal to amend the Playpens Regulations (“Regulations”) under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act1. Interested stakeholders may submit comments until June 29, 2013.

The proposal seeks to enhance infant/child safety by aligning the Regulations with existing requirements under the Canadian Cribs, Cradles and Bassinets Regulations and by further aligning Canada’s safety requirements with certain international standards and US requirements for play yards, playpens and bassinets/cradles. The changes proposed include:

  • Clarifying the definition of “playpen” to eliminate existing confusion between playpens and portable cribs;
  • Revising technical requirements for the gap between the floor pad and the side of the playpen, the side height of playpens and the side height requirements for sleep accessories;
  • Amending the test method for assessing mesh opening sizes to align with international play yard standards;
  • Establishing performance requirements relating to a playpen’s latching and locking mechanisms;
  • Prohibiting any protrusion, attachment or mechanism capable of entangling the occupant’s clothing or other object worn by the occupant, to be located above the upper surface of the floor of the playpen;
  • Including a maximum rock or swing angle for sleep accessories that rock or swing, and requiring that such sleep accessories incorporate a means of self-leveling;
  • Introducing performance requirements and test methods to asses sleep accessories missing key structural elements, intended to avoid their improper assembly; and
  • Providing for a transitional period of six (6) months for the implementation of the new requirements to allow industry time to re-design, test and supply new product models meeting the amended regulatory requirements.

The comments received in response to the consultation will be taken into consideration when preparing the draft of the new regulations.