In March 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a warning for parents and caregivers to exercise caution when using certain types of baby carriers, particularly slings. The CPSC reports that there are two suffocation hazards specific to slings. The first is that the fabric can press against an infant’s nose and mouth, which blocks breathing. The second risk is that if the sling keeps the infant in a curled position, his chin may bend toward his chest and block the airway, restricting his oxygen supply. To make sure you’re using any carrier safely, the CPSC recommends the following:
■ If your child was born prematurely or with a low birth weight, or if you have twins or a baby with health concerns, check with your pediatrician before using a sling.
■ Make sure your baby’s face is not covered and is visible at all times.
■ If you nurse your baby in a sling, change his position after feeding so that he is facing outward, chin up and clear of the fabric.
■ Check your baby often when using any sling or carrier.