The B.C. Coroners Service issued a warning last week about the possible dangers of using co-sleepers, a type of crib that attaches to the side of an adult bed.
The warning was prompted by the death last year of a 10-month-old Surrey girl who rolled over and became trapped between the crib and adult bed and suffocated.
In April 2011, the most common type of co-sleeper – the “Original and Universal Co-Sleeper” manufactured by California-based Arm’s Reach Concepts – was recalled by Heath Canada. But while they are no longer available in Canadian stores, they can still be found for sale privately online, at garage sales, and in the U.S.
In its recall notice, Health Canada specifically noted that an infant sleeping in a co-sleeper “can become entrapped between the edge of the mattress and the side of the sleeper. This poses a risk of suffocation.”
The coroner’s investigation found that was exactly what happened in the Surrey child’s death. While she was placed on her back for a nap, as is recommended, she was found face down and wedged between the crib and the adult mattress.
The BC Coroners Service reminds parents and all who care for infants that a baby is safest when put down to sleep on their back, in a properly designed crib or bassinet, with no quilts, pillows, stuffed toys or other soft material.