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Suffocating and strangulation

Sadly, there are instances of babies and small children suffocating or being strangled by household items. Always follow the guildelines below to reduce this risk.

  • Keep nappy sacks away from babies and never store them within reach of their cot or pram - fatalities have occurred after a baby has got hold of a nappy sack and it has covered their mouth or nose, or choked after putting a nappy sack in their mouth
  • Keep all small toys such as marbles out of the reach of children under three 
  • Keep animals, especially cats, out of the bedroom so that they cannot lay on the baby
  • Never put your baby down to sleep in a headband, bib or anything that could move around and cover the baby's mouth and nose
  • Always quarter small food such as grapes and cherry tomatoes, and do not give food such as peanuts, to children under the age of six
  • Babies should always be placed on their back with their feet to the foot of their cot, with blankets pulled no further than their shoulders or ideally use a sleep sacks - see our safe sleeping advice for more information
  • Ensure blind cords are out of the reach of children: one or two children die each year in the UK after becoming tangled in a blind cord. Ideally install blinds that do not have a cord. If there is a looped cord, keep it short and our of reach. Visit the Child Accident Prevention Trust website for more information on blind cord safety (opens in new window).
  • Do not hang drawstring bags in reach of children as they could get their head through the loop of the string
  • Do not hang toys or objects on or near the cot which could be grabbed and pose a hazard

Read more in our home safety blog.