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Baby Hammock Bed Maker Sued Over Infant Death

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By Minara El-Rahman on January 06, 2010 9:02 AM

A lawsuit was filed against Amby Baby USA overthe death of a 5 month old baby. The suit seeks $5 million. ABC News reports that Mr. Jonathan Kuzma of Oregon filed the lawsuit against the baby hammock bed maker in Multnomah County Circuit Court last Tuesday. He claims that the baby hammock bed he used was defective and dangerous and led to his son's death by suffocation. His son's death along with the death of another 4 month old infant in Georgia led Amby Baby USA to recall around 24,000 of the baby hammock beds on December 8. The baby hammock recall highlights the dangers of infant suffocation risks in baby hammock beds.

According to a press release by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the side-to-side shifting or tilting of the hammock can cause the infant to roll and become entrapped or wedged against the hammock's fabric and/or mattress pad, resulting in a suffocation hazard. The remedy given for individuals who have the defective product is to stop using it and to contact Amby Baby USA for a free repair kit at 866-544-9721. The hammocks were sold online at Ambybaby.com and other Internet retailers from January 2003 through October 2009 for about $250.

While the idea of a baby hammock is to move in a range of motion that mimics a baby's motion in the womb, it poses risks. According to Time, safety advocates recommend that infants sleep in cribs or bassinets with firm bottom support and no soft bedding or gaps because that can lead to suffocation. Time quotes Nancy Cowles, executive director of Chicago-based Kids In Danger as saying, "There is currently no safety standard that would cover a hammock. 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."

Since there is only one baby hammock bed maker in the United States, the recall covers any possible dangers. However, Canadian officials have already encouraged its citizens to stop any type of baby hammock bed.

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