Saturday, March 13, 2010

Carry On

Can I rant just a little?

This week the CPSC issued a warning about infant slings and wraps. (Mom, you can click on the word warning in the previous sentence to read the news coverage about it.) The article writes that the concern comes after 14 (or 12 or 13, depending on which news channel you choose to believe) infants died in accidents related to infant slings or wraps. What it does not tell you is that those deaths are spread out over a TWENTY year period. TWENTY. You can verify that here.

Now, go here. That's a link directly to the CPSC's website and an article about stroller deaths. There were 22 stroller-related deaths in a 10-year period. Do you see where I'm going with this??

I'm reading a book that a friend loaned me called Free Range Kids. I'm not finished with it yet, so I'll save my review for later, but I'm enjoying it so far. As with any parenting book, take the advice within with a grain of salt. Anyway the author (Lenore Skenazy) suggests that parents are too overprotective these days. Compare your childhood to the one you're allowing your child to live, and you'll come up with a dozen examples on your own. And she says that parents SAY the reason this is true is because times are so much more dangerous. But she argues that that's simply not the case--the real reason is because we watch too much Law & Order and read too many newspapers. Terror sells.

I linked to the CBS article first so that you could see how this is true. The CBS Early Show didn't give parents all the information that they needed to make an educated decision. A much more honest way to present the information would be something like this:

The CPSC has issued a warning about the use of infant slings and wraps. Used IMPROPERLY, they can pose a small risk of death by suffocation or injury from falls. Over the course of the last twenty years, about 14 infants have died. Most of these infants suffered from other health problems or were premature infants, and most of them were not using the slings according to the manufacturer's instructions. These statistics are no higher than the rate of infant deaths related to improper stroller usage. Parents who use infant slings are urged to review the wearing instructions carefully and make sure that their babies' faces are not covered and that their chins are not curled into their chests.

But that just wouldn't make headlines, now would it?

The fact is that women (and men, and even children) have been wearing babies for hundreds of years--safely. It's good for babies. Check out this article by Dr. Sears. You trust Dr. Sears, right? He points out all the benefits of babywearing. It's good for baby and for mom. And, unlike the CPSC, which is urging parents to wait until babies are 4 months old to start babywearing, he encourages parents (moms AND dads) to start right away. He says, "The womb lasts 18 months: 9 months inside, and 9 months outside."

I'm not encouraging you to ignore warnings about your baby's safety, but I am urging you to do your research and know the facts before you panic. And once you're satisfied that carrying your baby in a sling is not a death sentence for your tot, carry on. I am, and Nolan thanks me for it.


Adventures In Babywearing said...

I'm relieved that the warnings and posts I've seen this past week have been about bag slings- which most babywearers have been hoping the truth and warnings would finally go widespread public. It's all common sense. If someone truly wants to keep their baby close and have a sling, they most likely know what they should and should not do!

But it is important that the dangers associated with bag slings are not ignored. I'm hoping this pushes everyone to try more traditional babywearing! :)


lady said...

God helps those who help themselves. ....................................................

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