Unexpected infant death in association with suspended rocking cradles

Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 1995 Jun;16(2):177-80. doi: 10.1097/00000433-199506000-00022.


We report on the deaths of two infants aged 10 1/2 and 11 weeks who were found face down in the angle between the base and side of their frame-suspended rocking cradles. Locking pins designed to prevent tilting of the cradles were not in place in either case. Investigation of the two cradles associated with the infant deaths and six other similar rocking cradles available for purchase in South Australia revealed either marked angles of tilt or inadequate or nonchildproof locking devices in all cases. A study of live control infants placed in similar situations demonstrated support for the possibility of positional asphyxia. We consider that these cases represent another potentially lethal sleeping environment for infants and emphasize the importance of death scene examination in all cases of unexpected infant death.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Home
  • Asphyxia / etiology
  • Beds / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Equipment / adverse effects*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Sudden Infant Death / etiology*