Regulators consider ban on supplemental playpen mattresses

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is asking for the public to weigh in on whether supplemental mattresses for children’s play areas that are made without rigid sides should be banned.

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A group that advocates for safer children's products submitted a petition to the commission in June asking for a rule-making to ban the mattresses, which are marketed for use in play pens, portable and non-full size cribs and play yards. 

Keeping Babies Safe (KBS) said the mattresses pose an unreasonable risk of injury and death to infants. KBS said there were 15 instances between 2000 and 2015 in which a child was wedged between gaps created when a supplemental mattress was added to a play yard or portable crib. In an undisclosed number of cases in which the child died, KBS said most of the mattresses were more than 1.5 inches thick.

Though the current standard requires manufacturers provide a mattress with each product they sell that’s less than 1.5 inches thick and includes warning labels, KBS said supplemental mattresses continue to be marketed to consumers for use in portable cribs and play yards.

The public has 60 days to comment on the petition.