Baby Slings: Must-Have for New Moms, But...

The U.S. Government Thinks So. The Consumer Products Safety Division Will Soon Issue a Warning About Slings

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    A Baby Sling

    There are many products to help a mom carry her baby. One product is a sling those popular and fashionable infant carriers that parents strap around their chests to give the little ones a cuddle on the move.

    One shop that sells slings is "One Hot Mama" maternity shop in Studio City, run by Roxanne Beckford Hoge.

    "A sling is like an extra pair of hands. I can't think of a better thing a mother would need other than canned sleep," said Beckford Hoge, Owner of "One Hot Mama."

    Roxanne says recent reports of seven deaths due to certain usage of certain slings, may be due more to the momma than the baby.

    "There's going to be a large amount of neglect there," according to Roxanne Beckford Hoge, Owner of "One Hot Mama."

    Still, the government is preparing a safety warning about baby slings. The concern: Infants can suffocate, and at least a few have.

    The head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Inez Tenenbaum, said Tuesday that her agency is getting ready to issue a general warning to the public, likely to go out this week, about the slings.

    "We know of too many deaths in these slings and we now know the hazard scenarios for very small babies," said Tenenbaum. "So, the time has come to alert parents and caregivers."

    But if you like the freedom a sling provides, there are ways to use the product without risking your child.

    "First of all, don't put very young babies deep into the sling where you can't see them, where they could flex their neck and stop breathing," recommends Dr. Bruce Hensel, NBC4 Medical Editor.

    This places the child in a curved or "C-like" position, nestling the baby below mom's chest or near her belly.

    It's the "C-like" position that worries safety advocates the most. They say the curved position can cause the baby, which has little head and neck control in the early months, to flop its head forward, chin-to-chest _ restricting the baby's ability to breathe.

    "A solution is to put the child where their head is out of the sling, where you can see them, and their neck extended and supported by your arm, With very young babies you may want to tuck the feet in as well," recommends Dr. Bruce Hensel, NBC4 Medical Editor. "With older babies make sure that the sling fabric is high above the child's shoulder and acts as a swaddle beneath the baby's bottom."

    Roxanne Beckford Hoge says the most crucial step of all is to pay attention to your child.

    "Just pay attention that the fact that the baby is positioned correctly. Check on him or her once and awhile. Don't do too many other things.

    If you want to check out Roxanne's selection of slings go to: http://www.onehotmama.com/