Nappy sacks ‘should carry death warnings’
Retailers are being asked to put warning signs on packs of nappy sacks about the dangers of suffocation.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (Rospa) says it is aware of at least 17 baby deaths, including the tragic case of Maison Amison who died aged seven months in 2013.
Plastic bag nappy sacks are not required by law to have safety holes.
They should be kept out of reach of children, says Rospa.
Suffocation can take place either because the child places a bag over their head, or because the plastic is flexible enough to form an airtight seal around their nose and mouth.
Nappy sacks can be brightly coloured and make a rustling sound, so babies can find them attractive to grab. They are made of thin plastic, which easily covers the face and can be sucked down the airways.
Being extremely light and flimsy, they can easily be blown off a surface and come within the reach of a child, says Rospa.
In many of the fatal instances, nappy sacks had been stored within the baby’s reach, close to the baby’s cot.
Maison’s mum Beth, from Staffordshire, said: “Like many people, our changing stand had been placed next to the cot. Months earlier, I had placed some nappies in the pockets of the stand, though to be honest, I had forgotten they were there.
“Our cot was on the highest setting because Maison had never crawled. He could sit, but only if you placed him that way. However, that day he must have learned to stand for the first time, as that’s the only way he could have reached the changing stand.
“It was on 7 March, 2013, that I went into my seven-month-old baby son Maison’s bedroom to wake him up – only it wasn’t his beautiful smile I was greeted with. Instead Maison was lying in his cot with a handful of nappy sacks scattered around him and one was covering his face.
“From this moment on, it’s all a painful blur but I know that 999 were called and my house was full of paramedics desperately trying to save my baby’s life. I knew he was gone and that it was too late.
“I urge all parents, grandparents and carers to think about the possible dangers before they become a problem. Be aware of the risks.”
Morrisons supermarket says it will be changing the packaging of products to include the new warning messages in 2018.