As we told you earlier this week, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is advising parents and caregivers to use caution when using infant slings for babies younger than 4 months old.
The CPSC is investigating at least 14 deaths associated with sling-style infant carriers, including three in 2009. Twelve of the deaths involved babies younger than four months old.
In the first few months, babies can’t control their heads because of weak neck muscles. The sling’s fabric may also press against an infant’s nose and mouth.
The other problem is that the sling may keep an infant in a curled position bending their chin toward their chest, limiting oxygen supply and that can cause babies to suffocate.
According to the CPSC, “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.”
The CPSC is also working to create a mandatory standard for infant slings.
If you use these make sure the infant’s face is visible at all times. If nursing a baby in the sling, change the baby’s position so the head is facing up and is clear of the sling and the mother’s body.
The government is also interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are directly related to infant slings. You can do this by visiting the web site or by calling the CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772.