The Department of Trade and Industry’s Bureau of Philippine Standards (DTI-BPS) alerts the public to be cautious in purchasing hanging woven hammocks, especially when it is used as a primary sleeping material for infants.

The DTI-BPS together with the Philippine General Hospital’s (PGH) Child Protection Unit and Department of Pathology, discussed the case of the death of an infant patient whose head was stuck in one of the holes of a hanging woven hammock. The Child Protection Unit discussed that the diagnosis was damage to the nervous system occurred due to inadequate oxygen in the blood stream as caused by strangulation to the woven material of the hammock.

The investigation of the Philippine National Police (PNP) reported that the infant was left unsupervised when the incident occurred. The hammock, which was identified to be a secondhand product, was being used for sleeping purposes. The hammock was purchased in a local market and did not have any cautionary labels. The Child Protection Unit also reported that the hammock was being sold online as a “baby crib/baby hammock.”

The DTI-BPS specifies that for infant care, the surface of all furniture should be flat and free of holes or gaps and other hazards that may cause strangulation, entrapment and other injurious defects to the user. The DTI-BPS also has a Technical Committee on Furniture (BPS/TC 41) that has the following related standards on its 2019 Work Program, for which the “hammock” product may be covered under:

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Furthermore, to address this matter, the DTI-BPS plans continuous dialogue with the Department of Health (DOH) to discuss possible measures to address the safety issues on child and infant care which includes hanging woven hammocks. The DTI-BPS will also meet with the manufacturers of hanging woven hammocks to discuss safety issues and possible areas of cooperation.