Safety is always the most important thing when you're carrying your baby, and mums need to be aware of the need for ensuring that their baby, when carried in a sling or carrier, is in a comfortable position with free-flowing air. Slings aren't dangerous when used correctly, and are a fantastic tool for keeping your baby close to you and content. They are generally much more supportive for the baby than fixed front carriers but parents and carers need to use their common sense, they need to check at regular intervals that the baby is secure and happy, and hold onto the baby when bending. The Close Baby carrier doesn't rely on one strap to hold the baby in place, the baby is held by a cross over of straps so is very secure, and has an additional wrap tied around the baby too so that the baby is completely enclosed, unlike the bag style slings. In the main position used, upright facing in, the baby lies with their cheek against the wearers chest, so there is no chance of baby suffocating. Many other slings hold the baby in a similarly safe and secure way, and it would be unreasonable to dismiss all slings based on problems with one style of sling.
It is important to note that the tragic deaths have been seen with the Infantino Slingrider which is a type of bag sling. Unfortunately bag slings have several significant design flaws that could place an infant at risk of respiratory distress or oxygen deprivation. The babywearing community has known for some time about the dangers of these slings but unfortunately they continue to be marketed and sold. An American paediatric nurse, M'liss Stelzer has documented the results of several studies she has run looking at oxygenation saturation rates of infants placed in bag slings. Her results make for frightening reading; http://babyslingsafety.blogspot.com/
This is a link to the official CSPC report which highlights how important correct positioning is; http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10165.html
Also a response from responsible sling and carrier manufacturers because not all slings are equal; http://www.prweb.com/releases/2010/03/prweb3718984.htm
Correct postioning is vitally important when using any baby carrier or sling, anybody interested in babywearing should check out websites such as www.slingguide.co.uk, www.naturalmamas.co.uk and www.thebabywearer.com for help and advice. Pouches, ringslings, wraps, mei tais and soft structured carriers can and are all used by many parents safely and for many years and shouldn't be viewed in the same way as bag slings, after all there are accidents and deaths involving car seats and prams/buggies but nobody suggests they are all unsafe.
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