14/08/2014 12:56 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Mum Calls For Ban On Cot Bumpers After Death Of Nine-Month-Old Son

Mum calls for ban on cot bumpers after death of nine-months-old son

A baby boy died after his cot bumper became loose and wrapped around his neck.

Mum Lisa Gee, 26, said she found nine months old Preston dead when she went into his room in Loughborough, Leicestershire.

The family said the bumper had been correctly tied to the cot three times but the ties had snapped, causing the bumper to come loose with fatal consequences.

The mother-of-two and her partner Cuchulain Brian, 23, have now launched an online petition to ban the sale of cot bumpers in the UK.

Bumpers are fabric linings fitted to the edge of cots to stop babies from banging their heads or getting their limbs caught in the bars.

They are often attached to the bars using Velcro or are tied to them. Parents have been urged not to use them for safety reasons to reduce the risk of cot death.

Lisa said she bought the bumper on eBay. It had been tied securely to the cot in three places - but one of the knots had come undone.

Lisa said: "Cuc called me into the nursery but I knew something was wrong from the tone in his voice.

"When I walked in, I looked over to the cot and saw Preston just lying there, motionless, entangled in the bumper. I just turned to Cuc and broke down in his arms.

"Preston was the happiest, bubbliest little baby that you could ever meet and he was no trouble at all.

"He would often go all night without making a peep so we had no reason to believe anything was wrong."

An inquest is expected to be held into Preston's death but results of a post-mortem examination carried out to establish the cause of death are not yet known.

Lisa said the cot bumper came with a small age warning that was written on the wash label, which she said was not clearly visible to her.

She said: "The warning for the plastic packaging was markedly more visible than the age suitability information on the product.

"I think there is a need for much clearer safety guidelines on all baby products as people like me, just use such products because it's the done thing.

"All my friends used cot bumpers until recently with their children, my mum used them with me and my other siblings, there was no question about using a cot bumper."

Cot bumpers have been banned in Chicago and Maryland, in the US, after they were linked to the deaths of 27 children across the US over a 20-year period up until 2005.

In Britain, there is no formal advice on whether they should be used or not - despite differences in medical opinion.

Charities said parents should keep cots clutter-free to reduce the risk of cot death and warned against using bumpers for babies under one-year old.

The Lullaby Trust, the safer sleep baby charity, said they do not recommend using them at all as they are not necessary.

Lisa has also set up a Facebook page called Justice for Preston - but she was distraught when she received abuse about the death of her child. People wrote that cot bumpers should not be used for children aged under one. "

These comments are so hurtful and the point we as a family are trying to make is that these age restrictions aren't clear enough on the products out there," she added.

"Presumably, like me, many other parents use these products to protect their children. Naturally, if you buy something for that purpose, you don't question the fact that it may actually be putting your children at harm."

Jenny Ward, Head of Support and Development of The Lullaby Trust, the safer baby sleep charity, said: "There is no evidence associated with cot bumpers and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) but they do pose an accident risk.

"We don't recommend them or believe they are necessary. Our safer sleep advice, to reduce the risk of SIDS, recommends that a baby should sleep in a cot or moses basket with no extra bedding or soft toys."