By Tova O’Brien
More than one million baby slings have been recalled in the United States and Canada following claims linking them to three infant deaths.
But an Auckland mother of four and advocate of baby slings says it's just one design giving them a bad name.
Jessica Richards, the founder of sling babies says baby slings are the ideal way to carry your baby. She calls them the fourth trimester.
But according to expert Nick Backer, there are concerns some sling designs cause fabric to push against the baby's airways compromising a baby's already weak drive to breathe.
“It doesn't take much for that drive to be weakened still further and sleeping with the face covered or with the chin pushed in is sufficient that the baby loses it's air to breathe” he said.
But Ms Richards says it's just one particular design - bag slings - which are dangerous.
“There's no fresh air getting in there you can't tell how your baby's doing.”
She says the recall is creating unfair stigma for mother's who choose to wear the safe designs.
“This sling's ruining it for the good guys…” she says.
Every year in New Zealand around 60 babies die in their first year of life and a significant proportion are sleeping in environments that compromise their airways.
Mr Baker says slings contribute to the problem.
“It might sound too obvious to say, but anything that bends their neck can make it harder to breathe. Anything that covers the face can make it harder to breathe so if you do have a baby in a sling it's important that you can see the face and check your baby's alright.”
The ministry of consumer affairs is investigating whether the recalled infantino brand slings are available in New Zealand and if so they'll work with the manufacturer to ensure the public is informed.
source: newshub archive