Which? is urging parents to follow safety advice when buying second-hand baby equipment, following the tragic death of a baby using a second-hand bedside crib.
The coroner’s report, published on 21 April, highlighted that baby Grace Roseman had been put to sleep face down (prone) in a second-hand Bednest bedside crib.
The report said that the side panel of the Bednest had been folded down at about 7cm high and the cot tilted by 8cm. This is higher than the recommended tilt of less than 5cm.
The coroner’s verdict stated that the provisional cause of death is that Grace died from asphyxia. It appears Grace managed to get her head over the side of the crib. The weight of her head on the side of the cot restricted her air supply and led to her death.
The Bednest carries warnings that a baby should not be left unattended unless both sides of the crib are up and secure, but the instructions on the tilt function are only listed in the separate instruction manual.
Grace’s parents were given the Bednest by relatives to use second-hand, so did not have these instructions.
Since the coroner’s report into the death, the NCT has stopped selling the Bednest.
Bednest is still shipping the product, and says as long as the product is used in accordance with the instructions and your baby is supervised when the sides are down, it is confident the crib is safe to use.
The Bednest instructions are available as a PDF download via the Bednest website.
Always get manufacturer instructions
We strongly suggest you always obtain the manufacturers’ instructions when buying second-hand.
More often than not, these will be available to download on the manufacturer’s website, but if they are not, or if the product has been discontinued, you should contact the manufacturer to ask for a copy to be sent to you.
Second-hand baby equipment. What’s safe to buy?
Many baby items can be safely bought second-hand, as long as you carry out some simple checks to help to make sure they are safe and sturdy.
Our handy guide on second-hand baby equipment outlines what you should check when looking at buying second-hand stair gates and baby monitors.
We’ve got detailed guides on second-hand high chairs and what safety checks you should carry out on second-hand pushchairs. You can also read our second-hand pushchair reviews which include some of the most popular pushchairs still around to buy.
Second-hand child car seats
A recent Which? survey revealed that 6% of parents have bought a second-hand car seat, while a further 5% were given or lent a second hand car seat.
Which? backs industry advice and strongly suggests that parents and carers do not buy a second-hand car seat and it’s impossible to know whether a second-hand seat has been in an accident just by looking at it.
Any damage or defects could weaken the seat and the harness or buckle could have been used many, many times and may not be up to withstanding the forces of a crash, putting your child’s safety at risk.
Some car seats are expensive, but you can save money on them by buying them when they’re on offer or in a sale. You can save money by not being too eager to move up to the next stage car seat too soon. Wait until your child reaches the weight limit or outgrows the seat.
Moving babies and younger children up to the next group before they reach the maximum weight for their seat could lead to more severe injuries in a crash. Generally, we advise that you try to keep your child in the lower-group child car seat for as long as you can.