Health Canada

Health Canada

May 21, 2013 10:30 ET

Health Canada Advises on Safe Use of Baby Slings and Carriers

Educational campaign designed to promote safe use and reduce injuries

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 21, 2013) - May 21-27th is Canadian Babywearing Week and today Health Canada and the Baby Carriers Industry Alliance (BCIA) launched "Visible and Kissable," an educational campaign for parents and caregivers to promote the safe use of baby slings and soft infant carriers.

Baby slings and carriers are popular products that allow parents and caregivers to keep their baby close by as they go about their daily routine, but the improper use of slings and carriers has led to serious injuries and, in some cases, the death of babies in Canada and the United States.

"This campaign will help to educate parents and caregivers about safe babywearing and allow everyone to continue to enjoy the benefits of this practice," said Britt Pegan, Baby Carriers Industry Alliance.

Health Canada recommends reading and following all the manufacturer's instructions prior to use and to examine the sling or soft carrier to make sure that it is in good condition each time it is used. Check for ripped seams, torn straps or damaged hardware. If there is damage, do not use the product and contact the manufacturer.

It is also important to properly position the baby in the sling or soft carrier. The baby should be "Visible and Kissable" - this means making sure that the baby's face is not pressed into the fabric of the carrier or sling, or into the caregiver's body. Check that the baby's head is above the sling and that their face is always visible to ensure they can breathe properly. If using a sling, babies should be positioned in such a way that their chin is not pressed into their chest.

Information on baby sling and carrier safety is available on the Healthy Canadians website.

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