sling picThis month, the CPSC approved a national safety standard for infant carrier slings. Infant slings like the one pictured here are one option for parents and caregivers who want to keep their babies close but their hands free. However, slings can also pose suffocation hazards to infants by holding them in positions where their breathing or their airways are blocked. This new mandatory sling standard is designed to address those hazards, and will go into effect in 2018.

The new standard includes the following requirements:

  • Loading the sling to ensure sling can carry three times the manufacturer’s maximum recommended weight
  • Structural integrity of the sling after all testing has been conducted
  • Retention to prevent child from falling during normal use
  • Inclusion of images showing the proper positioning of the child
  • Warning statements about the risk of suffocation and falls
  • Reminder to caregivers to check the accompanying hardware (including rings, pieces, and buckles snaps)

Parents and caregivers using slings can also follow these safety guidelines when using infant slings keep baby “visible and kissable”:

  • Keep the infant’s face uncovered and visible to the sling’s wearer at all times
  • If using the sling to nurse, change the baby’s position after feeding so the baby’s head is facing up and their face is uncovered and visible
  • Check frequently to make sure nothing is blocking baby’s nose or mouth and that baby’s chin is away from the chest.

If you own a sling, or purchase a new one, register the product with the manufacturer. Product registration is the only way that manufacturers are required to alert consumers in the event of a recall. For more information about product registration, and to go ahead and register all of your infant products, visit KID’s Product Registration page.