The Consumer Product Safety Commission said it will likely issue a warning this week to parents about using baby slings.
The concern is that will babies could suffocate in certain positions in the slings and the agency says several already have suffocated.
“ ‘We know of too many deaths in these slings and we now know the hazard scenarios for very small babies,’ said Inez Tenenbaum, head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. ‘So, the time has come to alert parents and caregivers…’ ”
“Tenenbaum did not single out any specific baby slings or discuss the number of deaths linked to them. But there have been complaints for a couple years now about some baby carriers.”
“In 2008, Consumer Reports raised concerns about the soft fabric slings and some two dozen serious injuries, mostly when a child fell out of them. A follow-up blog warned about a suffocation risk and linked the slings to at least seven infant deaths.”
“Consumer Reports, published by Consumers Union, complained about the “SlingRider” by Infantino. The “bag style” sling wraps around the parent’s neck and cradles the child in a curved or “C-like” position, nestling the baby below mom’s chest or near her belly.”
“It’s the “C-like” position that causes safety advocates to shudder. They say the curved position can cause the baby, which has little head and neck control in the early months, to flop its head forward, chin-to-chest — restricting the baby’s ability to breathe.”
“Another concern: that the baby can turn its face toward mom’s chest or belly and smother in the parent’s clothing…”
“Tiffany Speck, a nurse who owns BabySoSmart and sells her own baby carriers, has been warning about slings where the baby falls into a chin-to-chest position in the classes she teaches at hospitals, stores and doctors’ offices.”
” ‘You wouldn’t want to put a baby in there,’ Speck said during an interview with The Associated Press. ‘The baby is curling, head toward toe, and what happens is the baby occludes its own airway.’ ”
“Speck recommends that babies in slings remain in an upright position, with the baby’s tummy facing mommy’s tummy.”
I am so upset and shocked by this report and upcoming warning. I loved my baby sling and used two different slings with all my babies. It is one of my all-time favorite gifts to give to new mommies!
I do think the sling is calming to the baby and a wonderful way to keep the baby close and to nurse privately.
I always kept one hand on the baby in the sling. I never felt it was as secure as the Baby Bjorn but you could use it when they were smaller. But now they’re saying that is a problem.
I did worry about the fabric riding up so high next to their little faces. I was always checking to make sure they were breathing when they were in that laying down position. I did use the tummy to tummy position that but was when they were a little bit older.
What do you make of this impending warning? Did you use a sling? Did you like it? Did you ever worry about suffocation? Will you stop using slings now or just be more aware of positioning?