Sling Dangers

If you carry your baby in an infant sling, read this. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a warning on March 12, 2010, advising parents to be careful with slings, if their infant is younger than four months of age. The CPSC is investigating 14 sling-related deaths over the past 20 years, including 3 that occurred last year. According to the CPSC, slings can pose two different hazards to a baby:

  1. Because an infant has weak neck muscles and can't control her head, the sling's fabric can press against her nose and mouth, suffocating her in a minute or two.
  2. Additionally. the sling keeps the infant in a curled position with her chin bent toward her chest, which can restrict her airways, limit oxygen supply, and suffocate her slowly.


The CPSC recommends that parents whose babies are preemies, twins, in fragile health, or who have low weight be extra cautious and consult their pediatricians about using a sling. If you do use a sling, follow these safety tips:

  1. Make sure your baby's face isn't covered by the fabric -- you should be able to see her at all times.
  2. If you're nursing your baby in a sling, change his position after feeding so his head is facing up and clear of both the sling and your body.
  3. Frequently check to make sure your baby is okay.
Baby Sling safety
Credit: Courtesy of CPSC

Copyright © 2010 Meredith Corporation.

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