Sling warning after baby death

  • 19/09/2011

A two-day-old Australian baby has died while being carried in a sling across his mother's chest, prompting authorities on this side of the Tasman to review regulations.

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs says it will consider issuing mandatory standards and will highlight safety issues around baby slings during International Babywearing Week next month, Stuff reports.

In the Australian case, the mother, who was wearing the sling under her clothing, noticed her baby was cold and not breathing.

The autopsy did not rule on a cause of death but specifically mentioned that the baby sling was a risk factor, according to a report in The Sydney Morning Herald.

The death is believed to be the first in a baby sling in Australia, while none have been reported in New Zealand.

However, authorities in the United States have investigated at least 14 deaths associated with baby slings, including three in 2009.

Most deaths involved very young, underweight or premature babies or those who had a cold or blocked nose.

A further 22 American babies have suffered serious injury after falling from a sling.

Consumer NZ issued a safety review of slings last March that recommended parents keep babies in a more upright front pack instead.

"A soft-padded front pack is a safer way to keep your baby close than a sling," the organisation warned.

Plunket has not warned against the use of the sling but has said parents should make sure the baby's face is clear and the head is not bent forward.

It said the device should not be worn with very young babies who don't yet have the necessary muscle control to open their airways or stop themselves slumping forward.

AP

source: newshub archive


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