Soothe Baby on a Clothes Dryer? Bad Idea, Hospital Says

Filed under: In The News, Research Reveals: Babies

soothe baby picture

Soothe your baby, but not with a clothes dryer. Credit: Getty Images

Fed up with driving your baby around for hours every night until he falls asleep? Quebec-based home furnishings chain Brault and Martineau has a much better suggestion.

In a tongue in cheek ad created for Canadian TV and radio, the company suggests its clothes dryers are perfect for soothing little ones, with calming vibrations that can lull baby to sleep, the Globe and Mail reports.

"In the TV ad, you see Mum fold clothes, Dad is holding a crying baby," Lisa Dutton, a media spokesperson for Montreal Children's Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre, tells the newspaper. "He places the baby on a white machine that is jiggling. The baby stops crying. The camera cuts to a picture of a washer and dryer with the ad pitch. The implication is that the machine is so quiet and smooth it will calm a cranky child."

In the radio ad, Dutton adds, the voice over says the dryer includes a "baby cycle."

But, we all know placing baby on a dryer -- even when strapped into a car seat -- is dangerous, right?

Apparently not.

Alarmed that desperate, sleep-deprived parents might start propping their babies on the nearest dryer, a number of concerned citizens promptly called the Montreal Children's Hospital to alert officials about the ad.

And, so, the hospital issued a news release to alert the public about the potential hazard, the newspaper reports.

"This is actually a very dangerous practice; falls in the house are a leading cause of childhood injuries," Debbie Friedman, the hospital's director of trauma services, says in the release. "Children should never be placed on dryers because they can easily tumble off and suffer severe injuries."

In response, the repentant folks at Brault & Martineau pulled the ad off the air.

So what to do if your child is colicky and won't sleep? Two words: vacuum cleaner.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.