Parents warned about the safety of baby boxes

Experts have issued a warning over the safety of baby boxes, insisting that they should only be used in temporary situations.

Experts have issued a warning over the safety of baby boxes, insisting that they should only be used in temporary situations.
Peter Blair, from the University of Bristol, England, has said that without supporting evidence the boxes cannot be “promoted as a safe sleeping space” and should only be used as a “temporary substitute”.
The boxes originated in Finland and have become popular in other countries, including Ireland, in recent times. 
Many are promoted as being safe sleeping alternatives, despite the fact that there is no evidence to suggest that the boxes prevent SIDS.
In fact, according to a letter by Blair which was published in The BMJ, there are a number of safety concerns associated with the boxes, including not being able to see Baby clearly and being potentially flammable.
In the letter, the professor and his team of leading cot death experts, including those from The Lullaby Trust, are warning parents that they should only be used as a temporary bed.
“Without supporting evidence, the cardboard baby box should not be promoted as a comparable alternative to cots, bassinets, or Moses baskets, but as only a temporary substitute if nothing else is available – if the device meets accepted safety standards,” the letter reads.
“We encourage rigorous controlled studies to better understand how families use the cardboard baby box and its safety implications.”
However, the warnings are not new; the Lullaby Trust shared their concerns last year, and issued the below guidelines to parents who choose to use a box.
  • Be aware that there is no direct evidence that the use of a baby box will reduce SIDS or lower infant mortality (despite use in some countries like Finland)
  • Be aware that some boxes may be of a higher quality than others
  • Be aware that there is no safety standard in existence anywhere in the world that specifically applies to a baby box as a sleeping place for a baby
  • Be aware that some manufacturers state that their boxes meet European Union 1130 standard for cots, cribs and bassinets. While some elements of a cardboard box may comply with this standard, for example, wood material, structure and smooth edges, remember that EU 1130 is a furniture standard for traditional cots, cribs and bassinets.
  • Ensure that the mattress and mattress filling meets the British Standard 7177 and the 1988 UK fire regulations as amended. The mattress should also meet the British Standard 1877 and this should be clearly and permanently labelled on the mattress.
  • Remember that, according to current research and available evidence, we still recommend that a cot or Moses basket is the safest place to sleep a baby.
What are your thoughts on the boxes? Have you ever used one or know someone who has? 


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