The August Industry Roundtable topic was a review of the current incident data involving slings, soft carriers and frame carriers collected by the CPSC. That data, condensed and summarized by the BCIA, can be found here: 2021 Incident Data
When discussing incident data, one of the first questions is always how carrier incidents compare to other juvenile product categories. For comparison purposes, this is the most recent CPSC Nursery Products Annual Report (Injuries and Deaths Associated with Nursery Products Among Children Younger than Age Five)
The group that met in August had a robust discussion around new and past incident data, looking at trends and emerging concerns.
Trends and Concerns:
- Nursing & feeding in a carrier is a continued recognized factor and is seen in one reported death and one incident of reported cardiac arrest in both sling and soft carriers.
- Trips and falls is by far the most common injury/incident report factor and can be divided into a few sub-categories:
-Caregiver trips or falls while wearing carrier
-Child falls or is dropped while loading the child in or out of the carrier
-Falling out of the carrier- potential buckle failure, fall from side or top, carrier too loose etc.
- Burns, while not frequent, are emerging as an issue to be mindful of. There are a small number of reports referencing burns occurring around stoves or small appliances, or hot food falling on baby.
While the incidents are relatively low in terms of numbers, as well as only reported in the US, the reality is that many incidents likely go unreported so data should be looked at as a snapshot capturing larger trends.
The group discussed the importance of reiterating that nursing/feeding and carrying are separate skills that need to be mastered individually with each baby/caregiver pair. Nursing may not be hands free in a carrier and may be better suited to older babies. We also discussed that this is messaging that requires collaborative efforts with lactation specialists, lactation-supporting organizations. We also reiterated that this topic is a good priority for the Resource Committee to focus on in terms of networking, creating guides and shareable graphics with an emphasis on what caregivers should DO as opposed to a list of Don’ts.
We discussed the disconnect between using carriers to make everyday life activities easier, and then potentially putting out a long list of things parents should not do while using carriers. The key takeaway we pulled from the data around falls and burns was a focus on mindfulness and awareness- whether that is of surroundings, footing, where baby is in the carrier, visibility, etc. We also discussed that in some of these incidents, a back carry (where baby age appropriate) may be safer in terms of giving the caregiver better visibility and situational awareness, and is this messaging that we might want to encourage as well.
The group decided that this topic was worth further discussion and will be picking it up again in the September Industry Roundtable on Tues Sept 21st.