Friday, November 19, 2010

Victory for babywearing!

I am pretty happy today.



Babywearing as a group, as advocates, businesses, educators... we have been working hard these last months to find a common ground with the CPSC (US Consumer Product Safety Commision) in regards to babywearing. Being in the unique position in the babywearing community  I have looked at the issue from all sides and had a wide spectrum of thoughts and emotions.

Today I am pretty must just pleased.

I feel like the babywearing community has been heard and we hopefully are not going to be in a position where we can work WITH the CPSC in educating parents about how to correctly and safely use a baby carrier. This is in large part because of many of my friends who have been working tirelessly to protect a parent's right to babywear and because of so many concerned advocates who have been calling their government officials and talking their ear off about this issue.

Let me cut to the chase. This is what came out from the CPSC today:

NEWS from CPSC

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Office of Information and Public Affairs Washington, DC 20207


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2010
Release #11-044
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

CPSC Educates New Parents on Safe Babywearing
Infant suffocation deaths in slings prompt renewed effort to warn moms and dads

WASHINGTON, D. C. - Infant slings and wraps have been used for thousands of years in many different cultures. For many parents across the United States, “babywearing” promotes a positive bond between child and parent. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) wants to make sure that parents and caregivers are aware of important safety information related to the proper use of slings.
CPSC is taking this opportunity to urge everyone to use slings and wraps safely, as CPSC has identified 14 infant suffocation deaths with sling-style carriers over the past 20 years. After reviewing numerous cases, child safety experts at CPSC have determined that parents with infants younger than four months of age, premature, low-birthweight babies, and babies with colds and respiratory problems should take extra care in using a sling, including consulting their pediatrician.
Suffocation/asphyxiation can occur when babies are contained entirely within the pouch of a sling with their face, including nose and mouth, pressed against the adult’s body, blocking their breathing. Suffocation can occur within minutes.
Because of the nature of the product and its use, some slings tend to keep an infant in a curled, chin-to-chest position, which can interfere with breathing. When an infant is in the chin-to-chest position, suffocation can occur. Both scenarios are serious concerns to CPSC. Many of the babies who died in slings were twins in separate slings and infants with breathing issues.
CPSC recommends that parents and caregivers:
  • Make sure you can see your baby’s face or eyes in the sling and that your baby can see you. Also, you should place the baby’s face at or above the rim of a sling or wrap so that their face is visible.
  • After nursing your baby, change the baby’s position in the sling, so that the baby’s face is at or above the rim of a sling or wrap and that their face is visible and clear of fabric and the mother’s body. You should be vigilant about frequently checking the baby in a sling.
A new voluntary consensus standard for slings is being worked on by ASTM International. This is a positive step toward providing manufacturers with an effective safety standard.
This warning is not intended to characterize all slings as being dangerous to babies. CPSC has identified (1) specific situations that can pose a risk of serious harm to babies, and (2) simple safety tips that we hope the babywearing community can share with new parents.
Picture showing proper use of a sling. Baby’s face is at or above the rim of a sling  or wrap and is clear of the fabric and obstructions.
Proper use of a sling. Baby’s face is at or above the rim of a sling or wrap and is clear of the fabric and obstructions.




Picture showing improper use of sling. Instead, keep the infant’s head above all fabric and away from the mother’s body. Make sure the infant’s face is not covered by the sling.
Improper use of sling. Instead, keep the infant’s head above all fabric and away
from the mother’s body. Make sure the infant’s face is not covered by the sling.




Picture showing improper use of a sling.  Infant is in a curled position with chin touching chest. Suffocation can occur in this position.

Above and below: Improper use of a sling. Infant is in a curled position with chin touching chest. Suffocation can occur in this position.

Picture showing improper use of a sling.  Infant is in a curled position with chin touching chest. Suffocation can occur in this position.




Picture showing Infants can suffocate in a position where the infant's face is against the mother’s body or the sling’s fabric.
Infants can suffocate in this position against the mother’s body or the sling’s fabric


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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. The CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals - contributed significantly to the decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054. To join a CPSC e-mail subscription list, please go to https://www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx. Consumers can obtain recall and general safety information by logging on to CPSC's Web site at www.cpsc.gov.



(To see this directly CLICK HERE)



The BCIA came out with this statement today also (Baby Carrier Industry Alliance):

Babywearing keeps your baby Visible and Kissable!

The practice of babywearing keeps babies in the safest place possible -- a parent's arms, with baby's face visible to the carrying adult.  Babies are vulnerable in their first four months of life.  They require constant supervision, which is why babywearing is critical to the well-being of infants.
Safe Positioning in a Mei Tai
Baby carriers are meant to mimic in-arms carrying positions.  Your baby should be in the same position in which you would hold him in your arms.  Check your baby's position by embracing him after settling him into the carrier; his position should not shift significantly in your embrace.
               
When using any baby carrier, please keep the following safety tips in mind:

 

  • Read and follow all manufacturer's instructions for use, and watch any included DVDs, if applicable.
  • Ensure you can see baby's face at all times.  Do not let baby's face press into your body.  Do not cover baby's face with a blanket, sling fabric, nursing covers, etc. 
  • Baby's head and neck must be gently and completely supported, with chin off chest.  If baby's chin is pressed tightly to baby's chest, this can restrict baby's airway.  Check to ensure you can slip your finger between baby's chin and chest to check for correct positioning.
  • Consult an expert if your infant was born with a low birth weight, such as a preemie or twins, or if your infant has respiratory illness or other respiratory problems.  Extra vigilance is required with these babies.
  • After nursing in a carrier, remove baby from breast and return baby to proper carrying position with head above the breasts and face free of fabric and turned away from the mother's body.
  • Attend to and check on baby often, especially those under 4 months of age. 
Safe Sling Position  Safe Infant Positioning in a Carrier Safe Sling Positioning for a Newborn

(To go to the link directly CLICK HERE)



(To my babywearing friends: I hope it is okay I copied and pasted. I wanted to make sure everyone took the time to read this information and I know not everyone will click the link. Please beat me over the head and set me straight if I have done a very bad thing. You are the best my hippy friends!)


Today is a good day for babywearers. I'm going to go roll around in my carrier collection to celebrate.

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