Kidsafe Victoria, together with SIDS and Kids Victoria have issued a red alert over the use of pram bassinets as ‘beds’ for children. Parents and carers are urged not to leave children sleeping unattended in a pram or pram bassinet.
In Victoria alone, 1448 infants suffered injuries from prams and strollers between 1996 and 2006¹. Tipping over is the most common cause of pram-related injuries. Children can also be strangled by the strap, or suffocate if the pram collapses and therefore they should not be left to sleep unsupervised.
There are currently no Australian standards for bassinets. But the current pram standard AS/NZS 2088:2009 does ensure manufacturers include notices warning parents not to leave children unattended in the pram for any period of time.
Parents should carefully assess the sleeping arrangements of their children and be familiar with all accompanying safety guidelines for safe sleeping which include:
- Sleep baby on back from birth, not tummy or side.
- Sleep baby with face and head uncovered and free from bedding, pillows and toys.
- Avoid exposing baby to tobacco smoke before birth and after.
- Provide a safe sleeping environment with safe furniture and bedding – no curtains, quilts, doonas, duvets, pillows in and around cot etc.
- Sleep baby in its own environment next to its parent’s bed for the first year.
1. Monash University Accident Research Centre 2008.
Source: Kidsafe and SIDS