27/08/2015

Safety Campaign Launched Following Death Of Baby Who Choked On Nappy Sack

A safety campaign has been launched to raise awareness of the dangers of babies suffocating or choking on nappy sacks.

The Royal Society For The Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has teamed up with the mother of a seven-month-old child that died in 2013 from accidental suffocation.

Nappy sacks are thin, plastic sacks used to dispose of soiled nappies but many parents tend to store these items close to the cot or under the mattress for convenience when changing a baby at night. This can be dangerous if they are left within a baby's reach while left unattended to sleep or play.

Beth Amison, aged 23 from Hednesford, Staffordshire, said: "My world fell apart because of a nappy sack. I urge anyone who is around babies to think about the possible dangers before they become a problem. Don't have the 'it won't happen to me' or 'it didn't do me any harm, so I'm not going to think about it' attitude, because when tragedy strikes, it leaves you heartbroken forever."

Sheila Merrill, RoSPA public health advisor, added: "Sadly, RoSPA is made aware of one to two nappy sack-related deaths a year and we know of at least 16 deaths. While most people are well aware plastic bags can be dangerous to children they don't associate these risks with nappy sacks so are less likely to take the same safety precautions.

"Nappy sacks are made from light flimsy plastic that is easy for babies and young children to grasp and they instinctively discover the world by putting things in their mouth, but once in their mouths they find it difficult to remove and can suffocate or choke. We hope families and carers will take on board advice from our campaign."

RoSPA's campaign to educate parents on how to prevent unnecessary tragedies has been supported by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). The UK's leading accident prevention charity is now working closely with Derbyshire County Council and Derby City Council, which have seen two nappy sack deaths within the space of 14 months.

(MH)

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