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RoSPA warns parents of nappy sack dangers as latest baby death is confirmed

Wednesday 9th September 2015

Nappy sack

Parents are being warned about the dangers of babies suffocating or choking on nappy sacks as the total deaths reaches at least 16 across England and Wales.
All fatalities so far have involved babies under 12 months old and date back to 2001, according to research by RoSPA’s public health team, which compiles national data on nappy sack deaths.
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.
There has also been a tragedy involving a three-month-old baby where a nappy sack lying on a changing table near an open window was blown into a baby’s cot.
Sheila Merrill, RoSPA public health advisor, said: “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 our advice.”
RoSPA advises parents and carers to:
•Always keep nappy sacks and other plastic bags or wrapping away from babies and young children
•Never place nappy sacks in or near a baby's cot or pram
•Be aware nappy sacks are extremely light and flimsy and can be easily blown off a high surface or across a room by a draught or by opening or shutting a door
•Buy nappy sacks on a roll if possible.

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