Cornwall

NHS nappy sack safety campaign goes national

Campaign poster - Pic: NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly
Image caption The campaign follows the deaths of two babies in Cornwall

A campaign warning of the risks nappy sacks pose to babies is to be adopted by the NHS nationally.

It follows the deaths of two babies in Cornwall and the concerns raised by coroner Dr Emma Carlyon.

Eleven babies in the UK are believed to have died in the past 10 years from suffocation after pulling nappy sacks to their faces.

Public health teams will be issued with a tool kit which will allow them to adopt the campaign in their areas.

Campaign roll out

Campaign founder Beth Beynon, from the Cornwall Primary Care Trust, said: "We started to look to see if this had happened anywhere else, and we found that over the last 10 years there had been up to 11 cases where young babies had died in similar circumstances.

"If we can take this campaign out to communities and reach parents, grandparents and carers we will have achieved one giant step towards preventing any more babies from needlessly dying."

Ms Beynon said the thin plastic nappy bags can cling. She said babies have a natural reflex to grab at things and pull them towards their mouths but they cannot pull them away.

Dr Julia Harvey, a consultant community paediatrician for the Royal Cornwall Hospital, said: "Newborn babies and babies up to six months of age do have primitive reflexes which are involuntary muscles movements, that are controlled by the central nervous system, but they have no conscious thought involved."

The new tool kits are made up of posters, leaflets and a DVD.

Katrina Phillips, chief executive at the Child Accident Prevention 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."

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