Baby slings, those soft and snuggly baby carriers that are all the rage, have now come under the microscope at the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The agency is expected to make an announcement later this week, warning about the special risks of suffocation to babies, especially newborns, who are placed in these slings.
CPSC chairperson Inez Tenenbaum is expected to make the announcement, warning parents about the high risk of suffocation in certain kinds of sling designs. The risk, according to child safety experts, comes from the fact that many of the designs allow babies to settle into a comfortable fetal position, that can have their chin touching their chest. In a position like this, there is a high risk of a respiratory blockage, and consequent suffocation. Some brands like the “Sling Rider” from Infantino have been named as posing a special risk because of the design. Besides, babies may be at risk in these slings when they turn towards the person carrying them, and become smothered in their clothes.
The risks from baby slings are not entirely new to injury lawyers in Atlanta. There have been at least seven confirmed reports of deaths of infants who have suffocated in these slings.In 2008, there were dozens of instances of babies falling out of the fabric slings, and injuring themselves.
The CPSC is obviously taking the matter very seriously because of the high popularity of these slings. As “baby wearing” has become popular, fathers have also jumped in to “sling” on their babies everywhere they go. With baby slings being a comparatively recent product, there are likely to be imperfections in design and construction that must be identified and addressed as quickly as possible.