Moses baskets are a potential health hazard

November 15, 2001

Letter: Moses baskets are a potential health hazard BMJ Volume 323, pp 1189

Moses baskets may pose potential health risks to babies, suggest researchers in this week's BMJ. Within two months in 2000 they encountered three cases of babies falling out of such baskets after an accidental slip of the handles, two of which resulted in skull fractures.

Close inspection of the Moses baskets showed that the handles did not seem long enough to meet in the middle. This means that a tighter grip around the handles is needed, which increases the risk of an accidental slip, explain the authors. The British Standards Institute has published guidelines on safety requirements for carrycots and stands, but no specific standards on the length of handles have been defined, they add.

The authors found no previously published reports about accidents involving Moses baskets, and several manufacturers did not seem to be aware of the problem either. Nevertheless, a search of the home accident surveillance system showed 24 reported cases in 10 years of a similar nature, suggesting that accidents involving Moses baskets may be much higher.

Most of the accidents involving a baby carrier will not result in any harm, especially as the babies concerned usually fall from a low height, say the authors. However, these cases highlight the importance of raising awareness of parents, health professionals, and manufacturers of the potential health risks that Moses baskets can pose to babies, they conclude.


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