The Office of Fair Trading is warning Queensland parents about the potential hazards associated with using baby hammocks following the fatalities of two infants in the United States of America.
Baby hammocks range in design and style. They can either be supported by a frame or hung from the ceiling and usually include the use of a large spring. Baby hammocks are designed for babies up to nine months or when the baby can roll over and are used to imitate the cradling and the constant motion babies receive while they are in the womb.
Baby hammocks can pose two different types of hazards - suffocation and falls. The hammock´s fabric can press against a baby´s nose and mouth, blocking the baby´s breathing should they roll into the corners and edges of the hammock. The curved mattress can also cause the baby´s chin to press against the chest and possibly restrict a child´s breathing.
If the baby is positioned too close to one end of the baby hammock the baby could fall out - if the hammock has a open end.
What you should do:
- babies should always be placed on their backs to sleep
- only use a hammock for temporary sleeping
- frequently check your baby to ensure they remain on their backs
- never use the baby hammocks for any age or weight other than what is recommended by the manufacturer
- follow the product´s installation, maintenance and use guidelines
- stop using a hammock when the baby starts rolling over
- always use the product with caution.
The Product Safety unit is seeking feedback on the use of baby hammocks and welcomes feedback from parents and caregivers that have used baby hammocks in the past. The Unit is also keen to hear from anyone whose child suffered an injury in a baby hammock.
For more information contact the Product Safety unit.
Last reviewed 21/12/2011