5 Baby Products to Avoid

are baby slings safe

photo from Maya Wrap

I've been using a baby carrier since my daughter was born. My husband carried her in a sling, and I used a Baby Bjorn until she was about 9 months when I switched to an Ergo, which I love. A lot of moms in my community and here on CafeMom are fans of slings. But Consumer Reports recently published "Five Products Not to Buy for Your Baby," and slings were on the list. Why?



According to article, "Over the past five years, at least four babies died and there have been many reports of serious injury associated with the use of sling-type carriers. The incidents include skull fractures, head injuries, contusions and abrasions. Most occurred when the child fell out of the sling. As slings grow in popularity, so do the number of serious injuries. No safety standards exist for slings. We think you should skip the sling and opt for other types of infant carriers, which have safer track records."

The other four products on Consumer Reports "don't buy" list:

1. Co-sleeping devices. "One popular Simplicity bedside sleeper/bassinet was recalled after two babies died from strangling or suffocating when they slipped through an opening in the frame. Currently, safety standards don't exist for either co-sleepers or bedside sleepers. Until they do, we think the safest place for your baby to sleep is in a crib."

2. Baby bath seats. "Each year, an average of 10 babies drown while using baby bath seats. Nearly all of those deaths occurred when a parent or caregiver left the baby unattended momentarily. The problem is that these seats, intended to make it easier to hold the baby in the bathtub, can give parents a false sense of security."

3. Sleep positioners. The soft foam in the sleep positioners can pose a suffocation hazard and our medical experts don't recommend them.

4. Crib Bumper Pads. "One study found 27 cases of infant death involving bumper pads or similarly padded bassinets. Most of the deaths occurred when the infant became wedged between the bumper and another object or when the infant’s face was against the bumper. And since bumper pads cannot be safety secured to cribs with solid end panels and should not be used with toddlers who can stand, we think it's best to avoid them altogether."

What do you think about this report? Will you stop using your sling (and the other things on the list) because of it? Why or why not?

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