In an effort to keep America's tiniest citizens safe, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission recently approved federal mandatory standards aimed at improving the safety of infant sling carriers and bathtubs.
Popular with parents on the go, Infant sling carriers are designed to carry an infant or toddler in an upright or reclined position and generally are intended for those weighing between 8 and 35 pounds. Baby slings are favorites because they help support the weight of a child and can be fashionable. However, in the first few months of life, babies are unable to control their heads, as their neck muscles still are developing. Sadly, a baby sling's fabric can hold the baby in a position that blocks breathing and keeps him or her from being able to cry out. This can result in rapid suffocation, potentially causing brain damage or even death. Between January 2003 and September 2016, the CPSC received reports of 159 incidents involving sling carriers. Of them, 17 were fatal.
New federal safety standards call for:
- Making warning labels more permanent by preventing them from being attached to the sling carrier along only one side of the label;
- Loading to ensure that the sling can carry up to three times the manufacturer's maximum recommended weight;
- Improving structural integrity to ensure that after all testing, there are no seam separations, fabric tears, breakage, etc.
- Occupant retention to prevent the child being carried from falling out of the sling during normal use;
- Improved warning labels that include pictures showing the proper position of a child in the sling;
- A warning statement about the suffocation hazard posed by slings and prevention measures,
- Warning statements about children falling out of slings;
- And a reminder for caregivers to check the buckles, snaps, rings, and other hardware to make sure no parts are broken.
If your child was injured in an incident involving a faulty infant sling carrier, call 877-798-7700 to speak with a personal injury attorney at Gainesville's Shackow & Mercadante today.