Baby Sling Safety Warning Imminent

Inez Tenenbaum, head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, is preparing to issue a safety warning concerning the popular baby slings. The warning is due sometime this week and will warn consumers about the dangers of suffocation. In announcing the pending warning, Tenenbaum stated, “We know of too many deaths in these slings and we now know the hazard scenarios for very small babies. So, the time has come to alert parents and caregivers.” Tenebaum’s remarks were made at a meeting of the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, an industry group that certifies infant products, including the baby slings.

In 2008, Consumer Reports wrote about safety concerns with the baby slings. The majority of the complaints involved babies falling out of the slings. However, a subsequent blog post raised suffocation issues with the slings and the product has been implicated in at least 7 infant deaths.

Those who favor the baby slings have cited the bonding effect between parent and child. Safety advocates have noted the potential for suffocation for small infants whose head and neck muscles are not developed, which can lead to a baby smothering itself against the parent unable to breathe.
In her remarks, Tenenbaum did not single a particular brand of baby slings.