Infant Sling Warning

March 12, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Sling carriers, which are commonly used to hold babies, are being blamed for a series of infant deaths.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Consumer Product Safety Commission: Infant Deaths Prompt CPSC Warning About Sling Carriers for Babies

The Consumer Product Safety Commission issued the warning after infant babies reportedly died from suffocation.

The alert is frightening for many parents. But, others say they will continue to use the product.

Sophia Sambrano of Clovis is eight and half months pregnant with her third child, a baby boy. She already has two children, and used sling carriers to hold them when they were born.

But after the US Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning about the product, and its risks especially for babies who are preemies, low birth weight or have breathing issues such as a cold.

This new warning has Sambrano now looking for alternatives. "I don't feel safe with my child in it this time around. I didn't use it for very long with my other child, so I'm not going to use it this time."

The C-P-S-C says in the past 20 years, there have been at least 14 deaths associated with sling style carriers, including three in 2009. 12 of those cases involved babies younger than 4 months of age.

Gena Kirby is a licensed dula and child birth educator. She totes her 11-month-old daughter, Charley, in a sling carrier all the time, and has been doing it since she was born.

Kirby thinks Friday's warning is causing some unnecessary fear. "Anytime that something brings attention to safety, it's a good thing. My only fear is that it might scare people off from wearing slings."

Kirby says using a sling carrier is beneficial to both the parent and the child.

She says parents should always read directions, and make sure that when their baby is in a sling, they have to sit up high, with their nose and mouth visible and free. "When you wear an infant in a sling incorrectly, it's just the same as putting your child in a car seat incorrectly. When you have them like this, it's really hard for them to breathe, so you want to make sure you're wearing your baby in a sling the right way, and then you're fine."

It's important to note, baby slings are not being recalled. This is simply an alert for consumers.

For information about a free sling carrier safety class, call 559-283-8616 or log onto