ACCC advice on infant slings for young babies
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission advises parents and caregivers to be cautious when using infant slings for babies younger than four months of age.
The advice follows a major recall of certain Infantino baby sling products as well as more general concerns about the safety of baby slings.
Similar warnings are being issued in the US, Canada and throughout parts of Europe.
Infant slings are carriers that allow an adult to carry an infant hands-free. The sling straps around the adult's neck, allowing the infant to lie in front of the adult, curved in
a C-shape position.
The primary concern with these products is that they can become a suffocation hazard to babies. At particular risk from these products are babies with a low birth weight, those that were born prematurely, or have breathing issues such as a cold.
Injuries can also occur from the baby falling from the sling when the caregiver trips and falls; the product malfunctions or its hardware breaks; or the baby slips and falls over the side.
The ACCC is undertaking its own investigation and is aware of some injuries occurring in Australia from these products. Injuries reported have included bruising and abrasions, but there have been some reports of injuries such as fractures, open wounds and head injuries.
More than 8,000 of the affected Infantino products have been sold in Australia and the supplier Little Smiles Pty Ltd has advertised a recall. Consumers are instructed to stop using the sling and contact Little Smiles to arrange for a replacement product package. For further information about the recall and the supplier's contact details please go to www.recalls.gov.au.
For further information about infant sling safety visit http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/920670/.
Ms Lin Enright, Media, (02) 6243 1108 or 0414 613 520
Release # NR 62/10
Infocentre 1300 302 502