Sling Safety

UK Sling Companies Put Baby Safety First – Press Release

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has raised concerns about “bag-style” baby carriers. It is thought that 14 deaths have occurred in the US over the last 20 years, all linked to the “bag-style” sling. UK Sling retailers and manufacturers are taking steps to ensure that parents have the information they need to continue to use safe designs of baby carriers and position their babies in the safest way possible.

One design of sling now seems to have potential risks. In “bag-style” slings, the deep pouch where baby sits puts the baby in a potentially suffocating curved position. Excess fabric with an elasticized edge may cover baby’s face and inhibit breathing. The design may cause the baby’s face to turn in toward the carer’s body, potentially smothering the baby. It also obstructs the baby from the parent’s view, due to the high and gathered side panels.

The majority of baby carriers and slings are still safe to use, if they hold baby in proper alignment and fit snugly by design and instruction. These safe designs of sling include shallow pouch-style slings, ring slings, soft carriers and wrap slings.

Advice for Parents

If you carry your baby in a bag-style sling, Rebecca Ward, of the Consortium of UK Sling Manufacturers and Retailers advises you to contact your local babywearing group through Sling Meet, www.slingmeet.co.uk, for advice on alternative slings. She says, “While we are unaware of any fatalities in the UK in these bag style slings at the present time, we would caution against using them in light of the recommendations by the US Safety Commission”. If you have another sort of baby carrier, Rebecca advises, “No safety problems have been brought to our attention with any other baby carriers. Make sure you read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.” When using a baby sling, the advice provided by the Consortium of UK Sling Manufacturers and Retailers is to follow these basic principles:

Keep your baby close and keep your baby safe. When you’re wearing a sling or carrier, don’t forget the T.I.C.K.S.

  • Tight
  • In view at all times
  • Close enough to kiss
  • Keep chin off the chest
  • Supported back

Issued by Antonia Chitty on behalf of Consortium of UK Sling Manufacturers and Retailers 22/03/2010
Media enquiries to Antonia on 0845 643 1874 or 07900 580668 Rebecca Ward: 0117 9082479 or 07525650429

Notes to Editors: More information on Baby Sling Safety will be added to www.babyslingsafe.com To find out more about baby wearing and get advice on safe ways to carry your baby there are several trusted websites to help you: • Slingmeet • TheBabywearer.com • Facebook page for Babywearing Safety • Mothering.com • LaLecheLeague Benefits of Baby Wearing

In well-designed products, studies have shown that baby wearing is not only safe, but is actually beneficial. Such studies have shown that quality baby slings and carriers have been shown to save lives, improve health, decrease crying, increase IQ, and facilitate breastfeeding and bonding. [i] Studies have also shown that worn babies are happier and spend more time in the quiet alert phase. In this phase they benefit more than their non-worn peers in language development and knowledge acquisition. Babywearing also helps babies sleep better, and physical needs, including breastfeeding, are met more quickly by a close, responsive parent. Millions of babies over time have been worn to their benefit making baby slings and carriers more of a necessity than the often-publicized fashion accessory. [ii]

Consortium of UK Sling Manufacturers and Retailers Members: Baba-licious, Baby Armadillo, Baby Bean, Babyhut, Big Mama Slings, BORN, Brightsparkslings, Calin Bleu, Close Parent, CN Sales, Daisy Chain Slings, HippyChick, Huggababy, Kari-Me, Lifft Slings, Little Possums, Mama Natura, Napsack, Natural Connection, Naturally Happy Slings, Natural Nursery, Ocah Carriers, SaSaSlings, Sling Jax, Slumber-Roo, Snugbaby, The Carrying Kind, Wilkinet

21st March 2010

There has been recent press focus on the safety of baby slings, following a publication by the US Government Agency CPSC regarding the safety of ‘bag-style’ slings and incorrect positioning, which can be dangerous to small infants.  We will shortly be releasing a safety statement ourselves in collaboration with other sling retailers and manufacturers, but in the meantime please be assured that none of the slings sold by Big Mama Slings are of the potentially dangerous ‘bag-style’.  If you have any concerns about the safety of your sling or would like to discuss any safety issues prior to purchasing a sling, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Press release by our US sling manufacturers

Short video by Meg Barry, Babywearing Educator, explaining which bag-style slings are to be avoided and how to position your baby properly in a sling

7th March 2008

Please note that the manufacturer of the Beco Butterfly has issued a recall notice. This only affects carriers sold in January and February 2008. We have contacted all our customers directly but should you have purchased from a different supplier please contact them directly as soon as possible. All Beco Butterfly for sale at Big Mama Slings from today onwards are not subject to the recall.

Full details of the recall notice can be read on the Beco Website.

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