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Go Ask Mom

Feds issue baby sling warning

Posted March 10, 2010

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission will be issuing a warning on the use of baby slings - those cloth fabric carriers that cradle babies.

In a speech to the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, commission Chairman Inez Tenenbaum said that the agency will be issuing a warning that the slings could be dangerous.

"We know of too many deaths in these slings and we now know the hazard scenarios for very small babies, so the time has come to alert parents and caregivers," she said. "We want to empower them to make a decision that is best for the safety of their baby, while realizing that slings play a role in the bonding of baby and mother in many cultures."

In September, the commission announced the recall of several slings, including about 100,000 made by Infantino. The plastic slider on the fabric strap could break, causing the infant to fall out of the carrier. There were 10 reports of the sliders breaking. One child broke her skull.

Watch this video to find out more about the concern.

I considered using a sling when my daughter was born in September, but we just never got around to getting one. We use a front carrier a couple of times a week. But usually, she's in our arms or playing around on the floor.

But I know that for many parents the sling is a pretty integral part of their whole parenting philosophy. Attachment parenting encourages parents to "wear" their children in the sling. And as Tenenbaum said in her speech, the sling plays a big role in many cultures.

This is sure to be a controversial warning.



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  • annebasso Mar 12, 2010

    The problem is not with slings or babywearing, but with this particular style of sling.

    Babywearing Mamas and Attachment Parents have been warning about these kinds of slings since they came out! Babies are carried far too low, they could suffocate, mom can't see them inside, and they're just plain dangerous. T

    Traditional ringed slings, wrap slings, and soft baby carriers don't have those dangers. This is an issue in which parents need to be educated. And the warning should have been specific to the kind of carrier that is dangerous.

    I'm disappointed that they're creating a babywearing scare instead of responsibly educating the public.

  • shall6 Mar 12, 2010

    Agreed ... but if you watch the video, there's also some mention of babies suffocating.

  • babbleon Mar 12, 2010

    We used a very simple one, a very long piece of cloth with a pair of metal rings on one end. You wrap the cloth through the rings to hold it in place. It never slipped.

    There's nothing wrong with slings, just cheap plastic.