Parents warned not to hang canopies over cots over suffocation fears

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We’ve all seen Instagram worthy nurseries, with many new parents choosing to decorate cots with a fabric canopy - but they come with a risk.

Whilst they’re very pretty, one paediatrician has said that they can be very dangerous to babies and pose as a suffocation risk.

Speaking to MailOnline, Dr Ruth Barker, paediatrician and director of the Queensland Injury Surveillance Unit said, “I've treated a baby who used a mosquito net to pull up to stand, and ended up wrapping it around her neck.

“Luckily, her mother came into the room and found her dangling from the net before it was too late.”

Unfortunately canopies can have the same affect, as babies are curious and can often grab hold of things to climb up and keep themselves upright.

Ruth added, “It's important to create a space that is safe not only for their current abilities, but for the abilities they will develop over time”

“Parents need to anticipate and stay one jump ahead, because you don't want the first time they do something to be their last."

Read more: Is your baby’s bed a safe place for them to sleep?


Credit: Getty Images

So despite them looking great and complementing a room, it’s worth keeping your baby’s cot free from any potential suffocation hazards such as a canopy.

Fairy lights have also been criticised by Australian website Choice, who spoke to Dr Barker about how they can be a risk too.

Speaking about the lights, Ruth said, “If it's battery powered, check that it doesn't use button batteries, which are particularly dangerous for children and ensure all batteries are securely fastened”.

She added, "If it's electric you need to consider the risk of electrocution if your child chews on the cord."

Recently, Ikea have recalled some of their bibs after fears that they could be a choking hazard for children.

If you think you’ve bought one of these bibs, you can return the product for a full refund with no proof of purchase required.

We know that parenting can be full of stress and worry, but we put together an easy cot bed safety guide to give you piece of mind and help your nursery be as safe as possible.

When decorating a nursery, it's advisable that you take any hazards into account such as tripping, suffocation and electrocution, and make sure everything is baby proofed for extra peace of mind.

Lucy Buglass
Digital Writer

Lucy Buglass is a Digital Writer for What's on TV,, and Woman&Home. After finishing her degree in Film Studies at Oxford Brookes University she moved to London to begin her career. She's passionate about entertainment and spends most of her free time watching Netflix series, BBC dramas, or going to the cinema to catch the latest film releases.