The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has issued a warning and guidance to consumers over potential dangers associated with baby nest and baby sleep bag products.
The alert comes after more than 4,500 baby nests and baby sleep bags were recalled in Ireland between 2021 and 2022 due to several dangers.
The CCPC is responsible for making sure that the range of consumer products sold in Ireland meet the required safety standards.
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Following a coordinated action among the CCPC in association with authorities across the European Union and European Economic Area, a standardised testing and sampling method for specific infant products was created to help identify and remove dangerous products from the 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 were therefore recalled.
According to the latest advice for parents and guardians, baby sleep bags can pose suffocation risks if the neck opening is too large.
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 babys 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 babys 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 asking consumers to consider all risks of baby sleep bags before they consider buying these products.
Their second warning on Monday focuses on baby nests, which experts say are 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, according to the alert.
The CCPC has highlighted 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 babys head to get trapped. Baby nests are not safe for unsupervised use and should not be used as additional bedding in a babys 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 you think you have bought an unsafe baby nest.
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.
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