New Regulations Introduced For Infant Sling Carriers
Not sure about you, but my baby LIVED in his Ergo Baby infant carrier, which is why I was shocked to learn that between January 2003 and September 2016,159 incidents were reported to the CPSC (Children's Product and Safety Commission) regarding unsafe infant sling carriers. Over that period of time, 17 infant deaths and 67 injuries were attributed to infant slings.
Because of the prevalence of infant injuries, the CPSC recently announced new federal standards for any sling carrier manufactured or imported after January 30, 2018. The new regulations requires all sling carriers to:
- Be able to carry up to three times the manufacturer’s maximum recommended weight,
- Be more durable to avoid seam separations, fabric tears, breakage, etc., and
- Be able to keep the child being carried from falling out of the sling during normal use
All sling carriers must also permanently bear a warning label that includes the suffocation hazards posed by slings along with prevention measures. The warning label must also list the hazards of children falling out of slings as well as a reminder for caregivers to check the buckles, snaps, rings and other hardware to make sure no parts are broken.
Oh you've never checked that? Yeah, me neither. In light of this info, it may be time to start.
Finally, all infant sling carriers must come with instructions, like illustrated diagrams, which show the proper position in which a child should be placed in the sling.
The CPSC recommends these safety tips when using a sling carrier with your infant:
- Make sure the infant’s face is not covered and is visible at all times to the sling’s wearer.
- If nursing the baby in a sling, change the baby’s position after feeding so the baby’s head is facing up and is clear of the sling and the mother’s body.
- It's important to frequently check the baby in a sling, always making sure nothing is blocking baby’s nose and mouth and baby’s chin is away from its chest.
These safety tips seem shockingly obvious now, but as we all know, when moms are tired, small things can be easily forgotten. The best way to keep your baby safe in an infant carrier is to be vigilant. Next time you're reaching for your go-to sling, be sure to take a second glance to make sure your baby is proper placed in the carrier and all hardware is in tact.