Baby sleeping bags found to be 'potentially life-threatening'
The consumer watchdog found that 12 out of 15 baby sleeping bags bought from online marketplaces, as well as high street stores and online from leading brands, failed its safety tests.
All nine sleeping bags from online marketplaces AliExpress, Amazon Marketplace, eBay, Etsy and Wish failed at least one of Which?’s tests, with some posing major safety risks to babies’ lives.
Baby sleeping bags can be a safer alternative to traditional cot blankets as they prevent babies’ faces from accidentally getting covered during the night, which can lead to suffocation. Yet Which? found sleeping bags sold by third-party sellers on online marketplaces and even some popular retailers could be putting infants’ lives at risk.
The watchdog’s tests include checking the neck opening is the right size, ensuring fasteners and buttons are secure and that the sleeping bag is free from loose threads and strangulation hazards. Each bag is also checked to ensure it states accurate tog levels - so babies do not overheat - and includes all key safety instructions. If a product does not pass all tests, it is deemed unsafe.
Which? found that seven of the faults in the 12 sleeping bags that failed, were deemed to be serious failures meaning that they could cause a baby harm or endanger its life. A further five baby sleeping bags had less serious safety concerns but failed to meet British safety standards.
Raising the most concerns, Which? found that three sleeping bags, including one purchased from AliExpress, one from Wish and one from boutique retailer Jojo Maman Bébé, had wide-neck openings that were too big for the age they were advertised for. Neck openings that are too wide could lead to a baby slipping down into the bag and suffocating.
Natalie Hitchins, Which? head of home products and services, said: “Parents will find it completely unacceptable that Which?’s investigation has found such a high number of dangerous products that could pose a potentially life-threatening risk to their baby as it sleeps.
“Consumers must be able to trust that if they buy a product in the UK from a well-known retailer or online marketplace that it will be safe and meet the safety standards required in this country.”
She added: “The government must step in to make online marketplaces legally responsible for the safety of the products sold on their sites. We also expect retailers to remove any unsafe products from sale.”
Which? is to pass the findings of this research on to the Office for Product Safety and Standards.
All of the online retailers involved have been contacted for comment.
A spokesman for Amazon said the company encouraged customers to report concerns about items. He said: “Safety is important to Amazon and we want customers to shop with confidence on our stores. We have proactive measures in place to prevent suspicious or non-compliant products from being listed and we monitor the products sold in our stores for product safety concerns.”