These popular baby products should come with safety warnings following suffocation deaths, say Trading Standards.
Surrey and Buckinghamshire Trading Standards led a study into the safety information present on pouch-style baby carriers and plastic nappy bags sold by high street and online retailers.
Checks carried out by Trading Standards officers found three in 10 slings and one in 10 packs of nappy bags had no safety warnings, despite a string of infant deaths related to similar items.
In the report, Trading Standards said that it should be mandatory for pouch baby slings and nappy bags to carry suffocation warnings. Nappy bags should also be sold in rolls or in packets with clips to make it harder for babies to access them.
Nappy bags made of light, filmy plastic can pose a risk to babies as they are easy to grab and pull over the nose and mouth. The Trading Standards South East report links these common household items to at least 16 suffocation deaths in England and Wales.
The pouch-style slings investigated by Trading Standards are those that cradle a baby’s whole body in one ring of fabric, without leg or arm holes. It is vital that the baby is properly positioned and does not slip into the chin-to-chest position, which will restrict their breathing. It is also important to ensure that the fabric does not cover their nose or mouth.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of accidents offer the following advice on using baby slings safely.
Keeping babies safe
Eight retailers were referred to Trading Standards teams in their regions due to the absence of safety warnings on their products.
The study was funded by the former Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and was also backed by Isle of Wight Trading Standards, Reading Trading Standards and West Berkshire & Wokingham Trading Standards.
Richard Walsh, Surrey County Council’ s cabinet member for localities and community wellbeing, said: “Products should have clear safety instructions, particularly when they are intended for children and this research by several Trading Standards teams working together has highlighted that more could be done to make sure babies are kept safe.”