The death of a 2-day-old baby in South Australia has raised questions about the safety of baby slings. Experts have warned that using slings can cause suffocation to babies.
Baby slings worn around a parent or caregiver's neck provide a soft and rounded sleeping surface that may promote a potentially dangerous posture that impedes normal respiration, according to a Letter to the Editor in the latest Medical Journal of Australia.
AdvertisementProfessor Roger Byard from the University of Adelaide, and co-author said that infants may suffocate in baby slings if they are positioned with their chin to their chest or if their mouth and nose are obstructed.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has recently issued warnings about the use of baby slings.
Prof Byard said that it's important that parents and carers are made aware of the potential safety issues with the use of baby slings.
"Sixteen deaths attributed to the use of slings have occurred in the United States and Canada, resulting in calls for mandatory standards by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission", Prof Byard said.
"Constant monitoring of infants in slings is advised, to ensure that the infant's head is facing outwards, with no covering of the face."
The Medical Journal of Australia is a publication of the Australian Medical Association.