The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has issued a warning and advice to consumers about the potential dangers associated with baby nests and baby sleeping bags.
The alert comes after more than 4,500 baby nests and baby sleeping bags were recalled in Ireland between 2021 and 2022 due to several hazards.
The CCPC is responsible for ensuring that the range of consumer products sold in Ireland meet the required safety standards.
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As a result of coordinated action between the CCPC in association with European Union and European Economic Area authorities, a standardized method of testing and sampling for specific infant products has been created to help identify and remove dangerous products from the market.
As a result of this EU-wide project, 4,524 sleeping bags and 36 sleeping bags sold in Ireland were found to be hazardous to consumer safety and were therefore recalled.
According to the latest advice to parents and guardians, baby sleeping bags can pose a choking hazard if the neck opening is too large.
A sleeping bag is a portable blanket, designed to keep a baby at a comfortable and safe temperature, without the need for additional bedding.
It is fixed at shoulder level, ensuring that the baby’s head remains uncovered. Following the findings of Project CASP and subsequent product recalls, the CCPC highlights a number of potentially serious risks associated with certain infant sleeping bags, including:
- Suffocation: where the neck opening is too large, which makes it easier to pass and slide the baby’s head inside the sleeping bag.
- Strangulation: due to strings, cords, ties and ribbons.
- Choking: due to small parts (e.g. buttons) coming off.
The CCPC asks consumers to consider all the risks of infant sleeping bags before considering the purchase of these products.
Their second warning on Monday relates to baby nests, which experts say are not safe for unattended use.
A baby nest is a “cocoon-like” mattress made up of a soft base with padded sides that wrap around the outer edge.
“They may also be referred to as ‘baby pods’ or ‘sleeping pods’ and are intended for supervised use only,” according to the alert.
The CCPC has highlighted a number of potentially serious risks associated with certain baby sleeping bag products, including:
- Suffocation: when there are horizontal gaps between the soft sides and the base mattress, which could trap a baby’s head. Crib nests are not safe for unattended use and should not be used as extra bedding in a crib, bassinet, or left unattended on other soft surfaces.
- Strangulation: due to cords or ribbons on some styles of bunting.
- Choking: because the interior contents, padding or small detachable parts become accessible to a baby.
The CCPC encourages consumers to download its consumer advice on baby nests at ccpc.ie for more details on associated safety risks, usage tips, as well as information on what to do if you think you’ve purchased an unsafe baby nest.
Gráinne Griffin, Director of Communications with CCPC, said: “Product safety testing and market surveillance is at the heart of our role in protecting the welfare of consumers across Ireland.
“Where a safety issue is identified, the CCPC will take the necessary action which, in the case of baby nests and baby sleeping bags, will involve the recall of a significant number of unsafe products from the Irish market.
“A number of security risks were identified during our work. The purpose of our advice is to let consumers know how to be aware of product safety before buying and how to avoid these risks.
“We know that safety is a top consideration for consumers, especially when it comes to our children. We encourage all consumers considering the purchase of these products to visit ccpc.ie to follow our safety advice on baby nests and baby sleeping bags.
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