Concerns over safety of baby slings after infant suffocates

The safety of slings has been thrown into question at the inquest of a baby who was 'accidentally suffocated' during '10-minute walk'


by Kayleigh Dray |
Published on

Little Eric Matthews was just five weeks old when he accidentally suffocated in his sling as his mother Marianne tried to calm him down on a 10 minute walk.

And now, at his inquest, concerns have been raised about the safety of slings, which have grown in popularity over the years and are used by celebrity mothers, such as Gwyneth Paltrow.

The little boy's emotional mother explained that she had learned to position her child in the sling from a parenting manual, suggesting it was safest against her chest.

She then issued a warning to parents, saying: "I don’t want to scaremonger but I think it isn’t known about.

"All the baby books say that slings are good for babies. We knew the cot death stuff about babies on their backs that is really well known. But we didn’t know about this at all."

The couple then went on to explain that they had taken their little boy out on Christmas Eve for a ten minute walk to calm him down, but were forced to perform emergency CPY after returning home to find Eric wasn't breathing and had blood coming out of his nose.

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Stock Image

Mr Matthews said: "We went for a short walk with him. He was in the sling.

"He was crying in the beginning, then he stopped crying. On the way back he was falling asleep. When we got home we found he wasn’t breathing."

Coroners are now investigating deaths caused by baby slings.

According to reports, six children have died in slings in the UK, while 16 deaths have been recorded in the US and Canada.

Coroner Richard Brittain said: "We heard from Dr Malone there have been similar circumstances that occurred internationally and also in the UK that do raise some concerns as to the safety of the slings."

Have you ever used a baby sling? Are you worried about their safety? Let us know in the Comments Box.

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