Beth Amison promotes nappy sack safety following the death of her son in 2013. This is her story.
It was on March 7, 2013, that I went into my seven-month-old baby son Maison's bedroom to wake him up – only it wasn't his beautiful smile I was greeted with. Instead Maison was lying in his cot with a handful of nappy sacks scattered around him and one was covering his face.
From this moment on, it's all a painful blur but I know that 999 were called and my house was full of paramedics desperately trying to save my baby's life. I knew he was gone and that it was too late.
Like many people, our changing stand had been placed next to the cot. Months earlier, I had placed some nappy sacks in the pockets of the stand, though to be honest, I had forgotten they were there.
"When tragedy strikes it leaves you heartbroken forever"
Our cot was on the highest setting because Maison had never crawled. He could sit, but only if you placed him that way. However, that day he must have learned to stand for the first time, as that's the only way he could have reached the changing stand.
Nappy sacks are usually brightly coloured and make a rustling sound so babies find them very attractive. They are made of thin plastic, which easily covers the face and can be sucked down the airways. As they are used to dispose of soiled nappies, these sacks also aren't required by law to have safety holes like plastic carrier bags, so they are more dangerous to children.
Babies have a natural grabbing reflex and put things into their mouths, but then they cannot get them back out. As they get older, they start to become mobile, and can't wait to get their hands on the world.
Since Maison's death, I have found out that nappy sacks have claimed the lives of at least 16 babies, ranging from newborns to one-year-olds. I have had two more children, who are currently 18-months-old and six-weeks-old, but I don't use nappy sacks anymore.
I urge all parents, grandparents and carers to think about the possible dangers before they become a problem. Be aware of the risks. Are there nappy sacks in reach? Are nappy sacks in a zipped changing bag? Whatever happens, don't have the attitude that "it won't happen to me", because when tragedy strikes, it leaves you heartbroken forever.
Since Maison's death, Beth has set up her own Facebook page called Maison's Memory, sharing the dangers of nappy sacks and advice and support to other parents and carers.
Beth received a RoSPA Archangel Award in 2016 in recognition of her work to keep the dangers of nappy sacks in the public eye.
Click here for more information on how to protect children from the dangers of nappy sacks, or to support our campaign.
Posted: 3/10/2016 12:53:58 PM