Playpens are theoretically supposed to be a safe place to put a mobile baby or toddler while a supervising adult takes a breather, or gets a few jobs done.
However the latest CHOICE tests have shown that instead of providing a momentary safe haven, parents are possibly putting their children in danger.
Of 22 models tested, an astonishing 10 were found to 'pose significant risks' to children, with several scoring "... zero for performance simply because they had so many fails," said Kim Gilmour, CHOICE's team leader for household products.
The worrying findings should compel parents to check the make and model of their playpen, and to cease use immediately should they be one of the models on the following list.
- ABST Bubble Playpen 18+2 ABST-BL20
- ABST Running Bear 14+2 AOLE-BBX16
- Bubbli Wooden 6 Panel BBPLPENW6NA
- Jolly Kidz Activity 159124
- Jolly Kidz Versatile Playpen HPP005/155027
- Kiddy Cots Link 100/8 Panel Wooden Playpen
- Nanny Annie Happy Panel Plastic Playpen
- TikkTokk Little Boss Playpen Hex LBPP11w
- TikkTokk Little Boss Playpen Square LBPP01w
- TikkTokk Pokano Fabric Hex POK11c
For more detailed information - including the individual scores for each of the above models, users will encounter a paywall.
And if you didn't know that Australia has no safety standards for playpens, then you do now, so it pays to do your research before purchasing.
Managing editor Margaret Rafferty writes that the team used testing "... based on standards for other relevant products as well as international standards."
The lack of a standard leaves the door wide open, so to speak, for unregulated imports to enter our market, and endanger children. The existing standards are from several decades ago and are outdated for today's safety expectations.
What are the dangers?
"Products that failed our safety tests did so for a number of reasons, ranging from major head entrapment risks to less serious hazards such as sharp edges and protrusions that little ones could bump themselves on," the report states.
Ensure you read CHOICE's full report, including manufacturer responses to the findings about their products - some have already taken action, while others are yet to respond.
You can also sign a petition using that link, to demand the standards are changed.
In the market for a playpen and want to ensure it's the safest on the market? See CHOICE's playpen buying guide.