Beware: Ten-month-old baby dies in an ill-fitted portacot

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“It is important that babies/infants are put to sleep face up, face clear.”

A heartbreaking accident involving a ten-month-old baby exposes the risk that comes along with portacots that hasn’t before been widely known. Scarier still is the fact that portacots are commonplace baby items.

According to an Essential Baby story, the baby had been placed in a portacot by her mother . An hour later, the father found the baby unresponsive.

The baby was pronounced dead at the hospital where she was rushed.

Coroner Christopher Devonport said the death of "Baby D," “highlights the importance of ensuring that the possibilities of accidental asphyxia are eliminated, including that baby sleeps on a thin, firm mattress.”

Reports said that the foam of the mattress was between between 10 and 20cm thick, longer than the cot-supplied mattress and as a result was folded up in curve at the end.

The baby’s mother said that she had wrapped her not like a newborn, so her arms couldn't flail around, and then placed her on her back without a blanket.

Coroner Christopher said the baby's death appeared to be the result of getting wedged between the soft mesh side of the portacot, and the thicker mattress.

“It is important that babies/infants are put to sleep face up, face clear," he also said.

However, the baby’s father found her out of the wrap, her face wedged between the portacot wall and the mattress.

Portacot safety

To make sure than no danger comes to your child while inside a portacot, here are come pointers that you must keep in mind.

  • Always follow the manufacturer's safety instructions for assembling and using the portable cot
  • Make sure the sides are fully clicked into place and the locking device is secure
  • Check for tears in the mesh or fabrics. Repair any tears immediately
  • Regularly check the cot frame for cracks
  • Use the cot mattress provided with the portable cot
  • Always make sure the mattress and bedding fits snugly at the sides and the ends-a gap no more than your index finger

If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the topic, please share them with us!