Teacher and I were babywearing parents before we even knew the term existed, and have used some type of sling or carrier with each of our children.
That’s why I’m so upset by the news I heard yesterday:
Babywearing is under attack by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Hard to believe?
Sadly, it’s true. Complete information can be found on Babywearing Safety Facebook page, but here’s an excerpt from the page to explain the basics:
A recall of a major baby carrier is being forced through this week. We want you to understand how this has been handled and to appreciate the immediacy of the problem!
* Company was informed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that, after several years, a closed investigation of their product was being reopened.
* Company was told by the CPSC to issue a recall of every product back more than ten years, and to discontinue sales, while admitting that there is no product flaw.
* Company stopped all sales, with the intention of clearing up the matter and reopening shortly.
* Company asked for the Health and Science report that the CPSC later claimed to have, indicating the need for a recall.
* CPSC has NEVER complied; inside word is that there is NOT a Health and Science report.
* Company was sent two draft press releases and asked to voluntarily recall their product or the CPSC would issue a unilateral recall (a forced recall) which included inflammatory language as well as a threat to pursue action against entire class of baby sling products.
* Company held fast, knowing that the product is safe and a benefit to babies and stated they would be willing to work with the CPSC on a public education campaign about sling safety.
* CPSC asked for Company’s financials.
* Company complied.
* CPSC said to company “You are no longer in business, we don’t need your cooperation in order to recall! Prepare to DESTROY all product next week!” Next week is International Babywearing week!
PLEASE NOTE: *THIS IS AFTER THE CPSC FORCED COMPANY TO STOP SELLING!
The CPSC has overstepped their bounds, and are bullying small, family businesses who make safe products!
This is only the beginning, according to the CPSC’s own words they want to eradicate the whole class of product!
A line has been drawn in the sand! Will you help fight the good fight with us? If you care that these products are available to you, to babies, to families across our country, ACT NOW!
What can you do?
- Join the Babywearing Safety Facebook page.
- Contact your legislator. In the Notes section of the Facebook page there’s a list of legislators and sample letter
- Post a note of support on the Facebook page – there’s strength in numbers!
According to a comment posted on the Babywearing Safety page:
While a death did occur in one carrier in 2005, it was ruled not to be caused by the carrier in the subsequent investigation.
Basically, even though the sling wasn’t the cause of death, all slings by this manufacturer are being recalled – five years after the incident.
I love children, and it’s definitely a tragedy whenever a child dies, but recalling these slings now because of a death five years ago doesn’t make sense. Babies die in car crashes more often than in slings, they die in cribs, houses, hospitals… should all of these be recalled or declared off-limits?
Yes, I realize I’m being ridiculous, but so is the situation. Sadly, no-one can prevent every tragedy. In a perfect world a parent would be able to do everything right, follow all the rules, observe all the safety precautions, and nothing terrible would ever happen. But that’s not the nature of our world; terrible things happen for no reason.
While I completely agree that defective and dangerous slings shouldn’t be on the market, recalling safe slings isn’t the answer. Instead of putting so much time and money into recalls,why not finalize the ASTM voluntary sling standards, provide education for sling users, and increase public awareness about sling safety? That seems to be a common-sense solution that’s win-win for everyone.
Just my two cents…
From CPSC’s perspective the answer to your headline is no. CPSC staff wants to work with the babywearing community on education. Here’s a safety alert we issued back in March on the dos and donts of using a sling: http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PREREL/prhtml10/10165.html. We want to work with you and other moms and dads who know how to wear your baby safely to educate new parents. Thanks.
Thanks for taking time to respond to my post. I certainly hope the CPSC can find a way to make babywearing safe without causing bankruptcy to companies who produce a safe product. No-one wants any baby put into an unsafe situation but at the same time a government can’t protect it’s people from everything.
I’ll be interested to see what happens in the upcoming weeks and months.
WOW!! I never had children, but baby wearing would be the best for babies. It’s been around for 1000s of years and they are going to attack a small company? But then again that does seem to be what CPSC does. 🙁
Thanks for commenting! I found great post on Becoming Mamas blog that sheds more light on the subject. I’m sure the CPSC has good intentions, but it seems that there must be a better way of making sure slings are safe. Just my 2c…
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