Nappy sacks are a change-table staple but this week sees renewed warnings that they can be potentially lethal if they fall into the hands of a child.
Used to contain stinky nappies and manage them cleanly to your bin, almost every home uses this product and it’s easy to assume they are risk-free. The UK’s leading child safety body has however spoken out with a stark warning calling nappy sacks ‘akin to poison’. They are urging parents to do whatever is necessary to keep them out of reach.
Over 16 children have died from suffocation via nappy sacks and until recently the deaths were considered to be isolated. Viewing them as a recurring incident has prompted for the NHS campaign to highlight their potential danger to parents.
The campaign has not been run in Australia but logically the product is available here and the same risks do exist. As a learning from what is happening in the UK parents are encouraged to be vigilant. Just like with any other plastic product it is important to exercise caution in where the items are stored. Nappy sacks must be stored safely out of reach of all children and babies.
Image and story reference: The Sun.
Baby Maison Amison’s Legacy
In 2013, seven-month old baby Maison Amison pulled a nappy sack through the railings of his cot and tragically died as a result from suffocation.
Giving the cause of death as ‘nappy sack syndrome’, the coroner at the time said he would be making inquiries into what markings appeared on nappy sack packaging to alert parents to the dangers.
Speaking at the time Katrina Phillips, chief executive of the Child Accident Protection Trust, said: ‘Because nappy sacks are seen as an essential piece of parenting kit, parents don’t realise that they are as dangerous to babies as plastic bags are to small children. They are often kept nearby, within easy reach, for nappy changing. This campaign will remind parents that nappy sacks need to be kept out of reach of babies, particularly in the bedroom.’
Maison’s parents have since become advocates for awareness around this deadly risk. They run a group called ‘Maison’s Memory’. This is their statement;
My beautiful boy Maison was seven months and one day old when I found him dead. He had somehow reached the changing stand next to his cot in the night and pull some nappy sacks out of a pocket.
At least sixteen babies have died after suffocating on nappy sacks in the last ten years and this number could be even higher as they are only recorded as accidental deaths not nappy sack suffocation.
Nappy sacks are very attractive to young children with the noise they make and once a baby has hold they can not let go. Awareness is being spread by Maison’s story and lots of health care professionals now warn about the dangers of nappy sacks. First aid courses are also mentioning the dangers. All this is thanks to the lovely people who share Maisons story and help warn others.
I can’t change that I have a child who died but I can help prevent another family being ripped apart like ours.