Baby Slings Under Fire for Deadly Risks After Newborn Girl Suffocates

baby in a sling, baby slings under fire for deadly risksIf you carry your baby in a sling, you might want to stop -- or at least read this and then make sure you're doing it right.

The carriers so many parents use to cart around their newborns and infants are being pegged as potentially dangerous after the suffocation death last year of a 3-week-old girl in Australia.

One in 20 babies carried in a sling has gotten hurt or has come close to being injured because parents don't always know how to safely position them.

And a number of babies in slings in both the United States and Australia have died by suffocation, which experts say is the biggest risk.

An Australian coroner issued a report finding that the sling contributed to "Baby T's" death in March 2013. The 3-week-old was being carried in a sling by her mom in a shopping mall when her dad noticed that one of her arms looked pale. They then realized the baby wasn't moving and was bloody and frothing around her nose and mouth.

More from The Stir: Dad Tries to Tie Baby Sling & Makes Fool of Himself (VIDEO)

Paramedics did CPR on the infant, but she later died at the hospital. The baby had a minor cold, which contributed to her death, but the sling and the way she was lying against her mother inside it were major factors in her suffocation, according to the report.

That case and others have inspired authorities to launch a safety awareness campaign in Australia for parents about the risks and dangers of carrying babies in slings and how to properly place children in them so they won't suffocate.

This is beyond heartbreaking. So many of us think nothing of putting our babies in slings to go out just like these parents did. Let's hope a similar safety initiative is started here in the U.S. so that more babies don't die this way.

Have you carried a baby in a sling? Did you know about the dangers?


Image via Allie/Flickr



To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

miche... micheledo

So sad!  I've always carried my babies with their face so close to mine.  No danger of suffocation and I can walk around sniffing the fresh 'baby scent' and giving them kisses.  :)

Katie McCauley

Babies need to be close enough to kiss...

Rachel Linda Kent

Should more like she migh have died from Heat not suffacation just saying

hello... hellokd87

With suffocation she wouldnt have had blood & froth around her nose/mouth would she?! Sounds like an underlying cause of death unrelated to the sling.

sassy... sassykat122

Gasp... Are they now going to ban slings like they did drop side cribs? It's not the sling that is dangerous, it's how parents use it. And do babies froth blood when they suffocate? I feel horrible for the parents as it does sound like an awful accident.

nonmember avatar Brena

Does any remember in 2010 in America there were several slings recalled and they issued safety warnings because of several sling deaths. (I remember watching about it on CNN while pregnant, which is why I didnt get one for my son)

alask... alaskalove

Who knows what kind of sling it was, and if even it was being used correctly. I feel horrible for the parents, but you can't just say she died because of the sling.

nonmember avatar Jessica

Any sling used in the "cradle" hold poses a suffocation risk for babies. In my opinion the only slings that are safe for newborns are ring slings because you can use them to secure baby against your chest like in a wrap or soft structured carrier. People need to be educated instead of making slings out to be the boogeyman of baby carriers.

IHear... IHeartCake

I thought a baby should be okay in a sling or wrap if in an upright position (not "cradled"), his or her head facing foward (not sideways) and facing the mom, and the head must be held upright, as danger occurs if the chin is pushed downwards toward the baby's chest (which can inhibit breathing slowly over time). It would be helpful to know which sling and position this baby was in, just to help other moms, but maybe she was using the sling correctly and there were just other factors (beyond a cold?)  I have seen women use them incorrectly (such as a woman riding a bike carrying her baby in a sling on her back who was clearly too small to be carried on her back, and his head was turned sideways.  I've hoped ever since that that baby is okay.)  My heart goes out to this family; I do feel this sort of thing could happen to anyone. I bet this mom was using the sling as best as she could according to the sling's user manual, and yet this still occured.  I am so sorry for their loss.

nonmember avatar Shelby

Who takes a 3 week old baby to the mall?? Perhaps that is how the baby got sick in the first the parents exposing her to public places much earlier than they should have

1-10 of 46 comments 12345 Last