Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) just released new mandatory safety standards for infant slings.
Between January 2003 and September 2016, 159 incidents were reported to CPSC involving sling carriers; 17 were fatal and 142 were nonfatal. Of the 142 nonfatal incidents, 67 reports involved an injury to the infant during use of the product. Among the 67 reported nonfatal injuries, 10 involved hospitalizations.
For those of you who interact with people who may be using infant slings, please see below, and share as appropriate:
CPSC advises parents and caregivers to be cautious when using infant slings for babies younger than four months of age. Slings can pose two different types of suffocation hazards to babies.
- In the first few months of life, babies cannot control their heads because of still developing neck muscles. The sling’s fabric can hold the baby in a position that blocks the baby’s breathing and rapidly suffocates a baby within a minute or two.
- Additionally, where a sling keeps the infant in a curled position bending the chin toward the chest, the airways can be restricted, limiting the oxygen supply. The baby will not be able to cry for help and can slowly suffocate.
CPSC recommends the following tips to parents and caregivers when using infant sling carriers.
- 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.
- Be vigilant about frequently checking their baby in a sling, always making sure nothing is blocking baby’s nose and mouth and baby’s chin is away from her chest.
Thanks for all you do to help keep infants safe!