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29 May 2022

CCPC warns consumers about the potential safety risks of 'baby nests' and 'baby sleeping bags'

CCPC warns consumers about the potential safety risks of  'baby nests' and 'baby sleeping bags'

There are serious safety concerns around the use of Baby Nests

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has today issued guidance to consumers warning of the potential dangers of both baby nest and baby sleep bag products.

This guidance follows a combined total of over 4,500 dangerous baby nests and baby sleep bags being recalled in Ireland between 2021-2022. To support consumers in making informed purchasing decisions, the CCPC has developed consumer guidance to highlight potential safety risks associated with these products, as well as practical tips for use. 

EU-WIDE PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS PRODUCT SAFETY RISKS

The CCPC is responsible for making sure that a range of consumer products sold in Ireland meet required safety standards. Between 2020-2021, the CCPC participated in ‘The Coordinated Activities for the Safety of Products (CASP) project’, alongside a number of market surveillance authorities across the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA). The focus of the co-ordinated action was to establish standardised testing and sampling methods of specific infant products, including baby nests and baby sleep bags, to help identify and remove dangerous products from the EU single market.

As a result of this EU-wide project, 4,524 baby sleep bag units and 36 baby nest units sold in Ireland were found to be dangerous to consumer safety and subsequently recalled. The co-ordinated efforts across Europe served to highlight the safety risks associated with baby sleep bags and baby nests, prompting the CCPC to develop product safety guidance for consumers in Ireland. 

BABY SLEEP BAGS - POSE SUFFOCATION RISKS

A baby sleep bag is a wearable blanket, designed to keep a baby at a comfortable and safe temperature, without the need for any additional bedding. It is secured at the shoulders, ensuring a baby’s head remains uncovered. As a result of the CASP project findings and subsequent product recalls, the CCPC is highlighting a number of potentially serious risks associated with some baby sleep bag products, including:

Suffocation: where the neck opening is too large, making it easy for a baby’s head to pass through and slip inside the sleep bag. 
Strangulation: due to strings, cords, ties and ribbons.
Choking: due to small parts (e.g. buttons) becoming detached.

The CCPC is encouraging consumers to follow its consumer guidance on baby sleep bags before they consider buying these products. Available to download from ccpc.ie, the CCPC’s guidance offers full details of the associated safety risks, tips for usage, as well as information on what to do next if a consumer suspects they have purchased an unsafe baby sleep bag. 

BABY NESTS - NOT SAFE FOR UNSUPERVISED USE

A baby nest is a ‘cocoon-like’ mattress consisting of a soft base with padded sides that wrap around the outer rim. They may also be referred to as ‘baby pods’ or ‘sleeping pods’, and are intended for supervised use only. The CCPC is highlighting a number of potentially serious risks associated with some baby sleep bag products, including:

Suffocation: where there are horizontal gaps between the soft sides and base mattress, which could cause a baby’s head to get trapped. Baby nests are not safe for unsupervised use and should not be used as additional bedding in a baby’s cot, bassinette or left unattended on other soft surfaces.
Strangulation: due to drawstrings or ribbons on certain styles of baby nests.
Choking: as a result of the inner contents, stuffing or small detachable parts becoming accessible to a baby.

The CCPC is encouraging consumers to download its consumer guidance on baby nests at ccpc.ie for full details of associated safety risks, tips for usage, as well as information of what to do next if they suspect they have purchased an unsafe baby nest. The CCPC is also encouraging consumers to report any retailers selling baby nest products with drawstrings or ribbons via its helpline on 01 402 555, or email ask@ccpc.ie with full details.

Gráinne Griffin, Director of Communications with the CCPC commented: “Product safety testing and market surveillance is central to our role in protecting the welfare of consumers across Ireland. Where a safety issue is identified, the CCPC will take necessary action which, in the case of baby nests and baby sleep bags, involved a substantial number of dangerous products being recalled from the Irish market. A number of safety risks have been identified during the course of our work. The purpose of our guidance is to empower consumers with the knowledge of how to be product safety aware before they buy and avoid these risks. We know that safety is an essential consideration for consumers, particularly when it comes to our children. We would encourage all consumers who may be thinking about buying these products to visit ccpc.ie to follow our safety guidance on baby nests and baby sleep bags.”

Where a consumer is concerned they may have purchased an unsafe baby nest or sleep bag, they are advised to visit the CCPC’s recalls page at ccpc.ie to check if their product has been recalled. Each recall notice will have further details and provide information on what to do next.

For consumers who have safety concerns about a baby nest or sleep bag they’ve already purchased (and which has not been subject to a product recall) the CCPC advises them to stop using the product immediately and contact them as soon as possible via its consumer helpline: 01 402 5555 or email: ask@ccpc.ie

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