The study by Washington University School of Medicine, published today (24 November 2015)  in the Journal of Pediatrics found that 48 infant deaths from 1985-2012 were specifically attributed to cot bumpers. An additional 146 infants were involved in cot bumper incidents in which the babies nearly suffocated, choked or were strangled.

Francine Bates, Chief Executive of The Lullaby Trust said: “This is compelling new evidence that cot bumpers do pose a serious risk to babies. We do not recommend the use of any sort of cot bumpers and urge all parents to follow our safer sleep advice to use a flat firm mattress in a cot or Moses basket with no loose bedding, pillows or bumpers.

“Cot bumpers pose a threat to babies once they begin to roll and move about the cot.  We know that some infants have become entangled in the ties and material, or fallen whilst pulling themselves up on the bumpers.

“Baby retailers need to think twice before selling these products or at the very least we need to see consistent safety standards for cot bumpers across Europe and clearer warning messages on all packaging.

“New parents now have a massive range of baby products to choose from and it can be really confusing to know what is needed. Babies need just a few basic items for sleep: a firm flat surface and some bedding. Our advice is simple: the safest cot is a clear cot.”