Safety Warnings for Using Slings with Infants

I’m a pro-baby wearer and have worn Gavin and Gareth since they were both one month old.  Though Gavin was worn only in the Bjorn up until he was about 7 months, I have worn Gareth in a sling.  Though neither of my boys fit the criteria mentioned in this article, I thought it was important to spread awareness of the potential dangers of baby sling misuse.  Additionally, if your baby falls into the criteria mentioned, it might be worth while considering other baby carriers instead.

CPSC issues warning about baby slings after infant deaths

Fri, Mar 12, 2010 (BabyCenter News) — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is advising 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 weak neck muscles. The sling’s fabric can press against an infant’s nose and mouth, blocking the baby’s breathing and rapidly suffocating a baby within a minute or two. Additionally, slings that keep the infant in a curled position, with the chin bent toward the chest, can restrict airways, limiting the oxygen supply. The baby will not be able to cry for help and can slowly suffocate.

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…

What you can do:

  • The CPSC recommends that parents and caregivers make sure their baby’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.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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