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Health Tip: Choosing Baby's Playpen

-- A playpen can help parents get things done with the knowledge that baby can't wander off. But it's no substitute for parental oversight.

Here are suggestions to help you find a safe playpen, courtesy of the Nemours Foundation:

  • If you choose a playpen with mesh sides, protect baby's fingers by making sure the holes are small -- 1/4 of an inch or less. The mesh must also be sturdy and properly attached to the device's edges.
  • The sides of the playpen must extend at least 20 inches above the floor.
  • The rails on each side should be well-padded to protect baby from a head injury.
  • Make sure that your infant can't reach any of the playpen's locks.
  • All hinges and supports should be enforced and protected.
  • If acquiring a used playpen, make sure its floor is in good shape, with no tears or worn spots.
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Posted: May 2009