In light of the current recall of the Infantino 'SlingRider' and 'Wendy Bellissimo' slings in the UK, Europe and North America, Rebecca Ward of the Consortium of UK Sling Retailers and Manufacturers says: "We are pleased that steps have been taken to ensure that using a baby sling is a safe way to carry your baby. If you are using a ‘bag style’ baby carrier and have concerns, we urge you to contact the manufacturer.

"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 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 recall."

If you use a 'bag-style' carrier, you can contact your local babywearing group through Sling Meet, www.slingmeet.co.uk, for advice on alternative slings.

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, 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   

                                                                          

–ENDS–

Issued by Antonia Chitty on behalf of Consortium of UK Sling Manufacturers and Retailers 24/03/2010

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

Background

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, including a number 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.

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:

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

[i] For examples of these cases and further reading see "Increased Carrying Reduces Infant Crying: A Randomized Controlled Trial" an article written by Urs A. Hunziker MD and Ronald G. Barr MDCM, FRCP(C), “Saving My Baby” a blog post written on Fierce Mama’s Blog by Sarah Kaganovsky and Dr. Maria Blois’s book Babywearing.

[ii] Source: La Leche League International

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