Dangers of Using Baby Bean Bags as Bedding

The rising popularity of baby bean bags has prompted the Queensland Office of Fair Trading to issue a warning about the potential risks associated with these products.

Office of Fair Trading product safety expert David Strachan said bean bags of any kind should never be used for a baby to sleep or nap in, as this could cause suffocation.

“The polystyrene beads that fill the bean bag can contour around a baby’s face, blocking the airways,” Mr Strachan said.

“Bean bags should only be used under the strictest supervision for babies under 12 months of age. Babies should only be placed to sleep or nap in a cot that meets Australian Standards.”

Mr Strachan said there were a number of measures parents and caregivers could take to ensure their baby had a safe sleeping environment.

“Only place your baby on a firm surface to sleep, as soft pillows, cushions and sofas are a suffocation risk,” he said.

“Do not place quilts, doonas, stuffed toys, cot bumpers or soft pillows in the cot with your child.

“Avoid using sleep positioners such as rolls, cot restraints or wedges unless advised to do so by a doctor.

“Make sure the baby’s mattress fits tightly into the cot with no gaps at the sides or ends.

“Keep in mind while many baby products, such as strollers and bouncers, are safe for their intended use, children should not be left to sleep in them unsupervised.”

The warning is also supported by SIDS and Kids’ new information statement ‘Sleeping Position for Babies with Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux (GOR)’.

This information statement speaks to the evidence that:

– Babies with GOR should be placed to sleep on their back from birth on a firm, flat mattress that is not elevated.

– Elevating the sleeping surface for back sleeping babies does not reduce gastro oesophageal reflux and is not recommended

View the information statement ‘Sleeping Position for Babies with Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux (GOR)’ here.

The Office of Fair Trading’s media statement can be downloaded here.

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