Many parents carry their babies in slings for ease and comfort. However care must be taken when using baby slings and carriers because there are currently no Australian Standards for the manufacture of these products sold in Australia.
Please note, baby slings and carriers can be dangerous if not used correctly or if the wrong size or type is used.
The Kidsafe SA's Baby Sling and Carrier Safety video below provides instruction on how to use baby slings and carriers safely. It also provides information on purchasing a sling or carrier, and identifies the characteristics that might put babies at greater risk of suffocation when in a sling or carrier. Step by step guidance is given to ensure baby is positioned safely.
Follow the TICKS checklist to keep baby safe and close:
T - TIGHT
The sling should be tight with your baby positioned high and upright with head support. Any loose fabric may cause your baby to slump down, restricting its breathing.
I - IN VIEW AT ALL TIMES
You should always be able to see your baby’s face by simply looking down. Ensure your baby’s face, nose and mouth remain uncovered by the sling and/or your body. Babies have suffocated while in slings.
C - CLOSE ENOUGH TO KISS
Your baby should be close enough to your chin that by tipping your head forward you can easily kiss your baby on top of its head.
K - KEEP CHIN OFF THE CHEST
Ensure your baby’s chin is up and away from their body. Your baby should never be curled so that its chin is forced onto its chest as this can restrict breathing. Regularly check your baby. Babies can be in distress without making any noise or movement.
S - SUPPORTED BACK
Your baby’s back should be supported in a natural position with its tummy and chest against you. When bending over, support your baby with one hand behind its back and bend at the knees not at the waist.
Always consult a doctor before using a sling with a premature baby.