Monday, 25 August 2014

'My baby was fine'

This has to be the reason for cot bumper use that we hate most 'Well, I've used them with all my kids and they are all fine' or 'My mum used bumpers with me and I'm still here'.
It's a tactless and insensitive thing to say to a family in grief, but it's also a deeply flawed assumption.

Preston's mum used cot bumpers with her older children. They were fine. Two out of three times she was lucky. In fact, as Preston passed away when he was nine months and eight days old, right up until nine months seven days Lisa could have said 'I've always used bumpers and mine are fine'.

Tragedy has a nasty habit of striking without warning. It can happen to anyone, at any time. Just because you've been ok so far doesn't give you an immunity.

Many parents use cot bumpers. They buy them because they believe they need them, or because they look nice and make the cot look cosy, but just because it's what has been done for years doesn't mean it has to continue. Common sense says we alter our habits in line with the latest safety advice.

They used to say lay babies to sleep on their stomachs.
Would you do that today?

Babies used to travel in cars without car seats, either held on an adult's lap or laying in a carry cot that may, or may not, have been strapped in place. Would you dream of doing that now?

Millions of babies slept on their stomachs and were fine but now we know it increases the risk of SIDS so we don't do it any more. We lay our babies on their backs to sleep because it is the safest thing to do.

Countless children travelled in cars without car seats, or even seat belts, and are still here to tell the tale. Myself included. Some of my own children, including Preston's Daddy, travelled as babies without car seats. Today that would be thought of as outrageous, but then it was generally accepted.

Safety advice improves. Opinions change because of it.

It's time for opinions on cot bumpers to change too. Babies have been dying for years because of them. The health authorities have been aware of this but the limited advice available hasn't been reaching parents. Manufacturers are aware of the deaths but they still continue to make them because profit comes first.

Cot bumpers have caused deaths through suffocation, strangulation, over heating, and rebreathing of Co2. Don't let your child become one of those statistics.

The law on infant car seats was changed because some babies tragically died in accidents. Most were fine but the law was changed to protect them all because no one knew which car would be in an accident and which wouldn't. It's the same with cot bumpers. Most babies will be fine, but you have no way of knowing when you lay your little one in his cot if tonight will be the night your world falls apart.

If this has helped you change your mind about using cot bumpers please sign Preston's petition. Lets take a stand and change the law on cot bumpers too.

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