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Are baby slings a dangerous product for babies and children?

Every parent wants to keep their child safe, but doing so sometimes means putting your trust in a company. Buying a baby sling or sling carrier is one of those instances. Baby slings are a great way to keep your baby close to you as much as possible. They are a good way to feed your baby if you are breastfeeding. The problem with baby slings is that from 1994 to 2014, 14 babies died and dozens of others were injured because of baby slings. Our Washington, District of Columbia, readers might like to know more about baby sling use.

Why are baby slings dangerous?

Babies, especially newborns, have weak neck muscles and are unable to control their head. This puts them at a risk of suffocation if their face is pressed against the fabric of the baby sling. An incorrect placement of the baby in the sling is another issue that can lead to suffocation. This occurs if the baby is in a curled position that pushes the chin into the chest.

Why are baby slings still being sold if they are so dangerous?

Baby slings have been the subject of recalls; however, they are still commonly used for older infants. The Consumer Safety Products Commission suggests that babies under 4 months old not be placed in certain slings. There hasn't been a ruling that requires the sale of these potentially dangerous baby products to be halted.

Do parents have any legal recourse if a baby is injured in a baby sling?

In some cases, they do. If a baby is injured because of a defect in the manufacturing of the sling, because of an improper warning about the dangers of the sling or because of the design of the sling, the parents can seek compensation for the injury. For example, if a ring on the sling breaks and the baby falls, the parents could seek compensation.

Anyone who has a child who was harmed by a product marketed for use with children might choose to seek compensation for injuries the child suffers. Learning about product liability laws might help parents decide how to proceed.

Source: FindLaw, "Baby Slings and Sling Carriers" Oct. 31, 2014

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