The Consumer Product Safety Commission has sent out a warning note to all new mothers and dads, who want to hold their babies close to them, yet have their hands free, to be cautious while using chic baby slings as they have been found to cause infant fatalities.
The CPSC has investigated at least 13 deaths associated with sling-style infant carriers over the last 20 years, including three deaths last year. Most of these babies were less than 4 months old and had low birth weight were born prematurely, or had a cold. Slings were found to pose a risk of death as they had the tendency to suffocate babies.
A sling’s fabric can press against a baby’s nose and mouth, blocking the baby’s breathing and suffocating a baby within a minute or two. In another scenario involving slings where the baby is cradled in a curved or “C-like” position, can cause a baby who doesn’t have strong neck control to flop its head forward, chin-to-chest, restricting the infant’s ability to breathe.
In 2008, Consumer Reports raised concerns about slings and some two dozen serious injuries, such as skull fractures – mostly when a child fell out of the carrier.
All slings are not dangerous according to Pat Shelly, Director of The Breastfeeding Center for Greater Washington. She said, “The safest baby wearing is in a carrier that keeps the newborn baby solidly against his mother’s body, in an upright position”.
Written by Snigdha for Biomed-ME