Two infant deaths have led to the recall of about 24,000 Amby Baby Motion Beds _ hammock-like beds marketed to parents of fussy babies with colic or reflux.
The 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 babies.
Two infants suffocated this summer _ a 4-month-old in Georgia and a 5-month-old in Oregon.
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 every time 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.
The bed is recommended by the company for babies ranging from newborn to 9 months old. Amby did not immediately respond to calls and e-mails from The Associated Press seeking comment.
Safety advocates say babies are safest in cribs or bassinets with a firm bottom support and no soft bedding, gaps, or other possible points where they could become trapped or entangled.
"There is currently no safety standard that would cover a hammock," said Nancy Cowles, executive director of Chicago-based Kids In Danger. "And CPSC has recently recalled other (hammock) versions for entanglement hazards, so Kids In Danger would recommend parents not use these types of products until a safety standard is in place."
In Canada, health officials are advising Canadians to stop using the hammock-like baby bed. Health Canada hasn't received any reports of incidents or injuries related to the product, but it says they should be disassembled and thrown out.
CPSC says there is only one model of the Amby hammock available. It has a label sewn onto it that says, "Amby _ Babies Love It, Naturally." The beds were sold online, through Ambybaby.com and other Internet retailers dating back to 2003. They cost about $250.
Consumers are urged to immediately stop using the motion beds and find a safe place for baby to sleep.
On its Web site, Amby says it plans to offer a free repair kit as soon as possible, "but not earlier than January 2010."
Consumers with questions can call 866-544-9721.
Associated Press Writer Rob Gillies in Toronto contributed to this report.
On the Net:
Consumer Product Safety Commission: http://www.cpsc.gov