Babies need safe sleeping areas
In the wake of the tragic death of a three-month-old in WA in February after he was left momentarily unattended in a baby swing, it is timely to recall the practices, items and environments considered safe for infant sleeping.
While the design of the baby swing is not in question, the warning is not to leave infants unattended to sleep in anything other than a cot that meets the requirements of the Australian mandatory standard with a firm, snugly fitting mattress.
When an infant falls asleep in a propped-up device like a car seat, swing or bouncer, the head can fall forwards, pushing the chin down towards the chest. This can lead to the airway becoming blocked, reducing airflow and potentially causing suffocation.
We remind parents and caregivers of the following:
Do not leave children unsupervised (awake or asleep).
Do not leave children in a hot unventilated vehicle.
Never leave children in a car seat with unbuckled or partially buckled straps.
Do not place car seats on unstable surfaces.
Straps on bouncers, strollers and swings may not prevent infants from manoeuvring into positions that could compromise their airway.
If using a baby sling, it’s important to learn how to use it safely to prevent suffocation.
Red Nose, the charity organisation that aims at eradicating sudden infant death syndrome, recommends babies sleep on their back on a firm and flat surface. Sleeping hazards for infants: Being unattended on an adult bed or bunk bed.
Being placed on a water bed, beanbag, couch, pillow or cushion.
Being left with a sleeping adult or child on a bed, couch or chair.
Toys and loose blankets within the cot. Second-hand smoke. Visit commerce.wa.gov.au/ consumer-protection/secondhand-cot-safety.
To report a potential baby product safety issue email firstname.lastname@example.org.