Play it Safe - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Play it Safe

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WSVN -- Stephanie's little girl Chloe is only 15 months old, but she is already into everything.

Stephanie: "Opening drawers, looking under things, grabbing picture frames. Whatever she can get her hands on."

Since the young mom can't watch her daughter's every move, she usually puts Chloe in a play yard for several hours a day.

Stephanie: "I needed something I could put her in while I'm doing breakfast, cooking. She loves it she will be in there for two hours, playing with her toys, drinks her milk in there, watches TV."

Stephanie never dreamed the very thing she uses to keep her daughter safe could be putting her in huge danger.

Lisa olney: "I am very angry. I am very hurt."

Lisa olney's knows those portable play yards can be deadly. Her daughter ellie was strangled when her head got stuck under the play yard's changing table.

Lisa olney: "I never thought something like his could happen."

The consumer product safety commission says play yards have been connected to injuries of more than 2,000 children.

Forty-nine more have died, including Riley, whose grandmother found her choked to death by a collapsed side rail.

Cynthia faubion: "We just want to keep this from happening to any other family."

Full sized cribs, bath seats and car seats all must meet strict mandatory federal safety requirements before they can legally be sold in stores, but not these play yards-defined by the feds as a framed enclosure that includes a floor with mesh or fabric-sided panels primarily intended to provide a play or sleeping environment for children. Right now, the only standards are voluntary.

Nancy cowles: "It's very scary, a play yard is something you buy in order to keep your child safe when you aren't watching them."

After dozens of grieving families begged for change, the feds did create tough new mandatory safety standards, but play yard manufacturers won't have to follow the rules until next year.

So until then look at the accessories. The new rules will require that add-ons like the loose changing table that killed ellie have to be securely attached, and not have choking hazards like dangling straps and loops.

The new rules also require mattresses be attached to the play yard floor so the baby can't be trapped in between.

Five kids have been injured that way and finally examine the side rails: The new rules require they don't fold into a v-shape like this one. That's how 12 children, were strangled.

Stephanie is ready to make some big changes for Chloe.

Stephanie: "I'm not going to stop using it, but I'll definitely keep an eye on her any of the hanging things she could pull, they could unclip. All the attachments I will take off."

Lynn martinez: "Another way to keep your child safe never add extra bedding."

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