Are Baby Slings Dangerous?

baby sling

Photo by corrie0227

Many CafeMoms swear by their baby slings. They often talk of all the great benefits like bonding and ease of breastfeeding. So it's hard to think of them as dangerous, but in some cases, I guess they can be. Today I learned that an Oregon women is suing the manufacturer of a popular baby sling. Her six day old son suffocated in the Infantino SlingRider, a bag type carrier, last spring.

Consumer Reports even puts baby slings on its list of the 5 Baby Products You Should Never Buy.


Oregon Live reports that "in the last 11 years, seven infants have died and another 37 were seriously injured while being carried in slings made by Infantino and other companies."

Some of the ways slings can hurt babies:

Dropped from the fabric

Heads bump into doorways

Suffocate from faces pressed against the fabric or heads fall forward, cutting off their breathing

The mother of the six day old boy, who was a little over six pounds at the time, placed her son in the sling while she went shopping at Costco. The baby was quiet the whole hour she was in the store, so she figured he was sleeping. After an hour, back at the car, the father noticed his son's color didn't look right. The baby wasn't breathing. They tried CPR and called 9-1-1, but the boy was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time later.

Apparently, there are no safety regulations governing slings in the same way there are for things like car seats and strollers.

Do you worry about your child suffocating or getting hurt in your baby sling? Are you constantly checking to make sure his or her head isn't pressed too tightly into the fabric?

Do you think slings are appropriate for newborns, or should be used only for older babies?


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Which Way Do You Sling?

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