Parents are being urged to be careful using baby slings with data showing they are responsible for a number of fatalities.

Three infants in SA alone have died since 2010 while being carried in slings and three deaths have been reported in QLD.

Parents are being urged to fit them properly, SA Health’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Nicola Spurrier says, according to Yahoo 7.

Also not to use them for babies under four months.

“Suffocation can occur if a baby’s face becomes covered or if they are incorrectly positioned in a C-shape with their chin on their chest, which can block their airway,” Dr Spurrier said.

Advocate group Kidsafe SA said there is a misconception that slings are safe because babies are kept close to the carrier, but they are only safe if the user knows how to use them correctly.

“It is particularly important to exercise caution when purchasing a sling or carrier online, as you can’t see the quality and fit of the product for your baby,” CEO Holly Fitzgerald said.

Last year a mum shared her heartbreaking story after newborn dies in baby sling – read more here.

How do I carry baby safely in a sling? via SIDS

SIDS shares, slings can be dangerous for your baby if worn incorrectly or if the wrong type of sling is used. A sling that straps around the adult’s neck, allowing the infant to lie in front of the adult, curved in a C-shape position may be dangerous.

If you choose to carry baby in a sling, at all times ensure that:

  • baby’s airways are free at all times
  • you can see baby’s face
  • never using products that are described as ‘womb-like’ or a ‘cocoon’.
  • lie your baby in a flat position with a straight back to ensure the baby’s chin does not rest on his or her chest
  • Babies can suffocate lying with a curved back with the chin resting on the chest or the face pressed against the fabric of the sling or the wearer’s body. At particular risk from these products are babies with a low birth weight, those that were born prematurely, or have breathing issues such as a cold.
  • Injuries can also occur from the baby falling from the sling when the caregiver trips and falls; the product malfunctions or its hardware breaks; or the baby slips and falls over the side.

TICKS Checklist

Remember and follow the TICKS rules:
T — Tight: Slings should be tight enough to hug your baby close to you.
I — In view at all times: You should always be able to see your baby’s face by simply glancing down.
C — Close enough to kiss: By tipping your head forward you should be able to kiss your baby on the head.
K — Keep chin off the chest: A baby should never be curled so that their chin is forced onto their chest as this can restrict their breathing.
S — Supported back: The baby’s back should be supported in a natural position so their tummy and chest are against you.

Share your comments below.

  • Sadly there a few baby items which can be dangerous if not used correctly.
    Maybe baby items should have instructions listing safe methods of use and warnings of dangers in large print.


  • I had no idea of the dangers involved with using a sling. Thank you for making readers aware. It might just save a life.


  • I agree with the need for children to do exercise and physical activity – it does help them to concentrate. It sure helps me to concentrate!

    • Oops! posted to wrong story! Should be with the exercise story.


  • Thank you for his advice on slings – they can be such a concern and everyone should know how to use them in the correct way.


  • I didn’t use a sling but also didn’t realise they were so dangerous.


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