Australia: Parents Warned Of Suffocation Risk After Baby Deaths In Slings

20 Sep

Warning After Newborn Dies In Baby Sling

Parents have been warned about the dangers of carrying babies in slings after the death of a newborn child in South Australia.

The two-day-old boy died after being carried in a sling worn under his mother’s clothing.

Warning After Newborn Dies In Baby Sling

The slings, worn over the shoulder to keep the baby close to the parent’s chest, have become a popular and convenient method of carrying newborns.

The child’s mother, from Adelaide, was carrying the baby in the pouch when she reportedly discovered he was cold and not breathing.

Two leading Australian pathologists have said the sling has to be “considered a risk factor” even though a post-mortem into the baby’s death did not blame the sling explicitly.

In a letter published in the Medical Journal of Australia, pathologists Roger Byard and John Gilbert said it was “important that parents and carers are made aware of potential safety issues with the use of these devices, particularly in very young infants”.

Australian child safety organisation, Kidsafe, is also warning parents about the possible suffocation risks of slings.

Melanie Water from Kidsafe Victoria said the slings are a good way of carrying a child, but they must be used with care.

“All baby slings should be sold with clear instructions and specific diagrams to make sure the potential risks are clear,” she said.

She said there have been 16 sling-related deaths reported in the US and Canada.

In March last year, two popular baby slings sold to UK parents were urgently recalled after they were linked to the deaths of three youngsters in America.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission said babies, especially those under four months of age, could suffocate in the soft fabric slings.

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