Baby hammock beds recalled after 2 deaths
Two infant deaths have led to the recall of about 24,000 Amby Baby Motion Beds marketed to parents of fussy babies with colic or reflux.
The beds, made by Amby Baby USA of Minneapolis, look somewhat like a baby swing but have mesh and fabric sides, resembling a hammock.
The bed, or hammock, hangs from a spring, and when the baby moves or stirs in his sleep, the bed gently moves up and down, back and forth, or side to side. The idea is to mimic the motion of a baby in the womb.
However, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Tuesday that the side-to-side shifting or tilting of the hammock can cause an infant to roll and become trapped or wedged against the hammock's fabric or mattress pad, posing a suffocation risk to a child.
Two infants suffocated this summer — a four-month old girl in Georgia and a five-month-old boy in Oregon. There are no reports of injury in Canada.
The bed was recommended for babies ranging from newborn to nine months old.
The product safety commission said only one model of the hammock is available. It has a label sewn onto it that says, "Amby — Babies Love It, Naturally." The beds were sold online in the U.S. and Canada, through Ambybaby.com and Ambybaby.ca, as well as other online retailers dating back to 2003. They cost about $250 US.
Health Canada is advising that the hammocks be taken apart and disposed of. Consumers are encouraged to notify the department if they find the products for sale.
On its website, Amby said it plans to offer a free repair kit as soon as possible, "but not earlier than January 2010."
This is the second North American recall of infant beds in two months because of suffocation deaths.
Last month, B.C.-based Stork Craft Manufacturing recalled 2.1 million cribs in Canada and the U.S. after the suffocation deaths of four babies since 1993.
The Amby Baby hammock-style bed was developed in Australia in 1990 by an Australian economics professor who was trying to find a sleep solution for his colicky baby. The bed has gained popularity and has been endorsed by U.S. baby expert Dr. William Sears.
With files from The Associated Press