6 Jun 2012

Heat pump baby death ruled unexplained

1:35 pm on 6 June 2012

A Dunedin Coroner is recommending that parents ensure babies neither overheat nor get too cold following the death of an Invercargill infant in a room in her bedroom with a heat pump in September 2010.

Chesara Anna-Rose McMurdo, aged 18 months, was found dead in her bedroom with the heat pump temperature reading 28 degrees.

She was one of two infants who died in similar circumstances in Invercargill within the same month.

Coroner David Crerar has ruled the death as unexplained. He said it is not possible to say that the baby's death was caused by overheating or that the temperature in her room was inappropriate.

In his finding, Mr Crerar said she was asleep in a singlet, pyjamas and a nappy, then restrained by a sheet tied around the mattress, and covered by a sheet, a blanket and a duvet.

Mr Crerar said babies do not have a well-developed heat dissipation system and parents should ensure babies neither over heat, nor get too cold.