The Consumer Product Safety Commision (CPSC) has posted a warning about infant sling carriers, due to at least 14 deaths associated with the product. The warning, posted in a release by the CPSC on March 12th, contains illustrations of the different positions, many of which are dangerous, of how babies are known to be carried in sling carriers. The release also which infants are most at risk, as well as how to protect a child should the caregiver choose to use a sling carrier:
Many of the babies who died in slings were either a low birth weight twin, were born prematurely, or had breathing issues such as a cold. Therefore, CPSC urges parents of preemies, twins, babies in fragile health and those with low weight to use extra care and consult their pediatricians about using slings.
CPSC recommends that parents and caregivers make sure the infant’s face is not covered and is visible at all times to the sling’s wearer. If nursing the baby in a sling, change the baby’s position after feeding so the baby’s head is facing up and is clear of the sling and the mother’s body. Parents and caregivers should be vigilant about frequently checking their baby in a sling.
The CPSC has now added slings to products that require a mandatory standard. Because time is of the essence, the CPSC is working with ASTM International to attempt to put voluntary standards in place for infant sling carriers, as soon as possible. The release also has a link for reporting infant sling carrier problems: www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/incident.aspx.