Saturday, March 13, 2010

U.S. Consumer Protection Commission Issues Warning About Sling Carriers for Babies

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a warning to parents and caregivers about the use of infant "slings" for babies younger than four (4) months old. Research of reports dating back over the past 20 years has identified at least 14 deaths associated with the use of sling type infant carriers including three reports in 2009. Twelve (12) of the fatalities involved babies that were younger than four (4) months old.

CBS has published the following report:

The CPSC reports two types of suffocation hazards associated with this product. The first suffocation hazard involves newborns, because they are unable to control the movement of their heads due to weak neck muscles. This allows the fabric of the sling to press against the nose and mouth of the newborn blocking the baby’s breathing resulting in rapidly suffocating a baby within a minute or two.

The second suffocation hazard of suffociation occurs where the sling maintains the baby in a curled position which bends the chin in toward the chest. This results in the infant's airway being restricted which limits the supply of oxygen to the infant's lungs. This prevents the baby from being able to cry for help resulting in a slow suffocation. Also several of the babies who died in slings were either a low birth weight twin; born prematurely, or had breathing issues such as a cold or other respiratory condition. Therefore, the CPSC has cautions parents of babies born prematurely, twins, babies in fragile health and those with low weight to use extra caution and consult with a pediatricians about the use of slings.

The USPC has added slings to the list of durable infant products that require a mandatory standard. Additionally, the CPSC is actively investigating these products to determine what additional action may be appropriate. Until a mandatory standard is developed, CPSC is working with ASTM International to quickly complete an effective voluntary standard for infant sling carriers.

CPSC recommends that parents and caregivers make sure the infant’s face is not covered and is visible at all times. If the baby is nursing while in the sling, the baby’s position should be changed after feeding so the baby’s head is facing up and is clear of the sling and the mother’s body. Furthermore, parents and caregivers are also cautioned to be vigilant about frequently checking their baby in a sling.

The CPSC is also interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are directly related to infant slings. If you are aware of an incident or injury involving a baby sling you may visit or call CPSC’s Hotline at 800.638.2772. I too am interested in promoting the safety of our children and grandchildren. Should you be aware of any such incident, please give me a call at 208.344.5555 or toll free at 866.946.1669. We must be vigilant in protecting those who cannot protect themselves.


CONTACT INFORMATION: If you or a family member have been injured or damaged due to the fault or responsibility of someone else, an industrial accident or by a dangerous or defective product, drug or toxic substance, contact Alan Morton for a no obligation, free consultation.

For additional information contact:

Alan L. Morton
1005 North Eighth Street
Post Office Box 420
Boise, ID 83701-0420
Telephone: 208.344.5555
Toll Free: 866.946.1669
Facsimile: 208.342.2509

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