WASHINGTON, D.C. – If you, or anyone you know, uses an infant sling carrier, a new federal standard aimed at making sling carriers safer is now in effect. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) approved the standard to prevent deaths and injuries to young children.  The new standard applies to any infant sling carrier manufactured or imported after January 30th 2018.

What are the new rules?

Among other things, all infant slings must have permanently attached warning labels and come with instructions, like illustrated diagrams, to show the proper position of a child in the sling. Warning labels must include statements about:

  • The suffocation hazards posed by slings and prevention measures,
  • The hazards of 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

The mandatory standard also requires sling carriers to:

  • Be able to carry up to three times the manufacturer’s maximum recommended weight,
  • Be more durable to avoid seam separations, fabric tears, breakage, etc., and
  • Be able to keep the child being carried from falling out of the sling during normal use.

What the Data Show

Between January 2003 and September 2016, 159 incidents were reported to CPSC involving sling carriers, including 17 deaths and 67 injuries to infants during use of the product.

CPSC Safety Tips for Using Infant Sling Carriers          

Make sure you know how to prevent deaths and injuries when using sling carrier

  • Make sure the infant’s face is not covered and is visible at all times to the sling’s wearer.
  • If nursing the baby in a sling, change the baby’s position after feeding so the baby’s head is facing up and is clear of the sling and the mother’s body.
  • It is so important to frequently check the baby in a sling, always making sure nothing is blocking baby’s nose and mouth and baby’s chin is away from its chest.