March 19, 2010
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SANTA FE, NM (March 18, 2010) — On March 12, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a Federal Agency, issued a warning in regard to the use of baby slings. The CPSC asserts that there is a risk of slings suffocating infants who are younger than four months old, and that caution should be used when carrying babies of this age group in slings.
Mothering puts the CPSC warning in perspective: Babywearing is safe, but some slings and positions are not. While baby carriers are as old as civilization, modern babywearing has exploded in the last four years. Along with this rapid increase in use has come the creation of some unsafe carriers, in particular bag-style slings that have a deep pouch, excessive fabric, and an elasticized edge. These deep, bag-style slings can be especially dangerous for premature or small babies.
Some general guidelines for safe babywearing:
1. Only choose a sling that allows you to see your baby’s face
2. Be sure baby is not curled up tightly, chin to chest. This position can restrict breathing, especially in newborns or in infants who cannot yet hold up their heads.
3. Make sure that the sling fabric is “breathable,” and keep baby’s face clear of fabric.
4. Do not press baby’s face tightly against the sling wearer’s body.
5. Position the baby’s face upward.
6. Reposition baby if there are any signs of respiratory difficulty: rapid or labored breathing, grunting or sighing with every breath, restlessness.
For more information, see Mothering’s Special Report on Babywearing
For babywearing safety tips, see “Babywearing 101”
Tune in to Mothering Radio at 11:30 PST on Monday, March 22, for an exclusive one-hour show featuring Glenda Criss-Forshey, president of Babywearing International; M’Liss Stelzer, author of “Babywearing 101”; Jane McClintock, of Quirky Baby, an online baby carrier distributor, and Alma Gordillo-Webb, moderator of Mothering.com’s babywearing community. Look for our feature article on slings in the July–August 2010 print edition.
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Mothering is a multi-media company that reports on natural family living. Content covers pregnancy, natural childbirth, breastfeeding, education alternatives, and family health issues. Mothering’s editors can serve as trusted resources for any stories involving these topics.