‘Risk of death or serious harm’ to infants: CCPC announces immediate ban on sale of baby self-feeding pillows
December 22, 2022
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has banned the sale of baby self-feeding pillows due to a risk of death or serious harm.
A self-feeding pillow is designed to hold a bottle, keep it in the baby’s mouth and free up the parent’s hands, allowing the baby to feed itself. The pillow is placed around the baby’s neck, the bottle is held in position by a piece of elastic or a pouch and the baby is positioned on its back to feed itself without the assistance of a caregiver holding the bottle and controlling the feed.
In this situation, the baby will not be able to control the flow of milk and the milk will continue to flow even if the baby is not swallowing. This can lead to choking. Choking can be silent and a baby will not have the dexterity or cognitive behaviour to otherwise raise the alarm.
Aspiration pneumonia occurs when milk goes into the lungs rather than the stomach. This could occur if the flow of milk is too fast and the baby is not able to keep up by swallowing the milk.
Clara Thornton, CCPC Director of Product Safety, said
“Baby self-feeding pillows present a risk of death or serious harm from choking or aspiration pneumonia. They are dangerous and go against HSE advice on safe bottle-feeding. If any consumer comes across these products they should report them to the CCPC.”
Dr Abigail Collins, HSE National Clinical Lead for the Child Health Public Health Programme, said
“If feeding with a bottle, always hold your baby in your arms. Make the most of this time to bond with your baby. Look into your baby’s eyes – this helps them to feel safe and loved.”
“Never leave your baby to drink a bottle on their own. Propping or leaning the bottle using a pillow, self-feeding pillow or any other support can be dangerous. Doing this could cause your baby to choke.”
Businesses must immediately remove these products from the market as they do not comply with safety regulations and are dangerous products. Irish businesses are instructed not to import these products.
Consumers should not buy self-feeding pillows. Those who already own a self-feeding pillow should
- immediately stop using it and
- dispose of it safely so that it cannot be used by anyone else
The CCPC identified baby self-feeding pillows on sale on non-EU websites targeted at Irish consumers. As yet, the CCPC has not identified any for sale in retail stores in Ireland.
Consumers who find baby self-feeding pillows for sale in Ireland, either online or in retail stores, are urged to report them to the CCPC immediately.
Read our consumer safety guide for more information.Return to News