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Dangers of Baby Slings

I am announcing my intentions to ignore the dangers of baby slings that I have seen mentioned in various consumer reports recently. Being a cautious person by nature, I take each and every study that comes out very seriously and have the utmost respect for the integrity of said reports and the professionals who oversee and conduct them. However, this time I’m taking a few grains of salt with the results of the baby sling report.

For those who are considering this valuable attachment parenting device, the study states that in a time frame of the past five years there have been at least four babies who died from being carried in baby slings. And there are even more reported incidences of injuries to babies’ heads, skull fractures and bruises and contusions.

Most of the problems occurred when the babies tumbled out of the sling. To that, I have to reply that I have carried three (soon to be four) newborns in ring slings and have not had one fall out of the carrier yet! I do not jog, cook or do aerobics while carrying an infant in a sling. The moments are rare when my arms have not been wrapped around my babies when they are inside the sling carrier or wrap. It is my opinion that perhaps the dangers of baby slings have more to do with learning the lack of skill and common sense of the user than the danger of using a sling.

The study goes on to say that there are no safety standards for baby slings and I agree that since many moms believe it's alright to make your own baby sling using free patterns that they find on the internet that there is room for error. But again, in my opinion, that fact alone doesn’t make them dangerous.

The truth is that any squirming baby can wiggle out of your arms if you are not careful. I’m not telling anybody to take risks when parenting their babies. But, a little common sense goes a long way when assessing the dangers of baby slings.

By all means pick a safe baby carrier with a good track record and before you put your baby in any stroller, carrier or swing; learn how to use the thing. The same dangers of baby slings apply to any kind of baby gear, gadget or seat. Practice with a baby doll, read the owner’s manual and learn how to use the belts, straps and restraints before using the product with a real infant. And perhaps the best advice I can give to new mothers is to never allow yourself to become distracted by anything when caring for your baby. Make a solemn vow to not let anything short of a nuclear explosion pull your attention away because in my experience, the little sweethearts know the exact moment that you are not watching and will take that opportunity to injure themselves or their siblings. And nothing is worth sacrificing the safety of your precious child.

Return to Oooh Baby Baby Parenting and Environmental Issues to see more of my opinions on expert studies.


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