A study from 1991 and 2011, during a period of 20 years, was conducted to determine the number of injuries caused by baby products. This study involved approximately 1.5 million children under 3 years of age.
From the average number of 66 000 injuries a year, baby products such as baby carriers and seats were at the top of the list of causes.
Yes, at first sight a baby carrier might seem completely safe. Some sort of a backpack into which you place your baby.
And this is the exact thing you should never forget.
You are placing a living being, the most precious part of your life – your baby into the baby carrier. I believe that none of you would like to be part of the above-mentioned statistics a that’s why it’s important to get familiar with some baby carrier safety principles.
3 safety tips while carrying your baby in a carrier
The website Baby Wearing International summed it up in three basic tips which they have called ABC principles.
- Airway (A) – while carrying your baby you should always check if its head has enough turning space. Have your baby close, so you can give him/her a kiss but at the same time, make sure it has enough space for air circulation around its face.
- Body positioning (B) – make sure that your baby’s body is in a position where the head is not hanging from the carrier and knees are above the bottom.
- Comfort (C) – of course, your baby has to feel comfortable in the carrier. You may be thinking one thing, but your baby will give you a hint based on its behavior. If it cries, something is wrong.
The optimal position of a baby in a carrier should be the following:
- The head should be close enough for you to kiss it.
- The chin must be away from chest to ensure right air circulation.
- The carrier should support the neck, especially in case of newborns.
- The baby mustn’t slide down in the carrier.
- Straps have to tightened firmly, but not too tightly.
- Knees should be above the bottom.
What else shouldn’t you forget?
Keep in mind that your baby’s neck muscles are very weak. Most carriers have pads supporting the head; however, your baby’s security depends on your behavior as well.
Always read the instructions for use.
There are many baby carriers and therefore, it is very difficult to create a universal set of safety recommendations when carrying a baby in a carrier. The most specific recommendations are always provided by the manufacturer. Read the instructions for use at least twice before using the product. If you don’t understand some sections, please contact the manufacturer.
You should be moving carefully with a baby.
Some baby carriers are so comfortable that you forget having put one on. Avoid any sudden movements (especially with a newborn). Pay special attention to your baby when you need to bend.
Strap state has to be checked regularly and don’t let your baby out of sight.
It’s important to check the state of straps and various plastic parts before and during every carrying. At the same time, check your baby’s state in regular intervals. For example, whether the head is in the right position. You can check its heartbeat and breathing on your chest.
You should be extremely careful if you are a parent of a premature child, children who have trouble with breathing or health because as Jay L. Hoecker, M.D said, these children have a higher risk of suffocation.
If you have made it here and said to yourself that you have not learned anything new, then congratulations, you are a textbook parent and user of baby carriers. On the other hand, it’s always good to refresh these information, because an accident can happen fairly quickly, and prevention serves as basis.