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Updated: Are Slings Dangerous?

When I brought my preemie son home from the hospital, he was too small for a carrier. Finding it easier to be hands-free when picking up and dropping off my older child from preschool, I popped the baby into a sling. One day – a particularly hot one – a well-meaning stranger wondered if I was suffocating my baby. I thanked her for her concern and assured her he was fine, but internally I freaked – and checked my son’s breathing all the way home. I figured I was overreacting, but I never used the sling again.

Now I’m wondering if that nosy stranger was onto something. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is preparing a warning about small babies and slings. Although no details have yet been released, there have been rumblings that so-called bag slings, which cradle baby in a curved position, present a suffocation hazard. There have also been complaints of babies falling out of slings.

We’ll post the warning here once it’s released. In the mean time, do you use slings? Have you ever worried about their safety?

Plus: Stay on top of all the latest potentially hazardous products with our constantly updated recalls page.

Updated: The CPSC warning has been issued.  It advises that parents should use caution when using a sling with babies under 4 months old, especially those with a low birth weight, born prematurely or with a breathing problem like a cold.