20 September 2011
The safety of commonly used baby slings has been questioned following the death of a 2-day-old South Australian baby.
Slings – soft fabric carriers generally worn around the parent’s neck – may lead to a baby being carried in a position where their neck is excessively bent, with the chin close to the chest, or where their mouth and nose are obstructed, causing suffocation, doctors have warned (Medical Journal of Australia 2011; 195: 321).
Preterm and low birth weight babies may be more vulnerable than others, with previous deaths being reported in car safety seats and while breastfeeding, due to the airway becoming blocked, they said.
Babies in slings should be monitored to make sure their heads are facing outwards with nothing covering their faces.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) issued a similar warning earlier this year.
Last Reviewed: 23 September 2011