Product Hazards – Carriers

Car Seat/Carrier

There have been at least 13,200 car seat/carrier related injuries among children under the age of 5 since 2011. At least 37 deaths have been associated with infant carriers between the years 2007-2009. In 2015, the CPSC issued a final rule for Frame Child Carriers, which established a mandatory safety standard that complies to the Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act (section 104 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act).

The deaths happened when . . .

  • Infants became entangled in restraining straps
  • Carrier seats toppled over on soft surfaces (i.e., beds)
  • Unrestrained children fell from the carrier to the floor
  • Carrier handles broke or were defective

Most hard handled carriers are certified as child restraint systems for cars. But if not, do not use one in a car.

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A recall or a corrective action has been issued for infant carriers for various reasons, including:

  • Strangulation risk if the child slips into leg openings or becomes entangled in the harness straps
  • Injury risk from falling if handles break during use
  • Possibility of infants being able to push themselves up and over the back of the seat
  • Straps can unfasten or separate from buckles
  • Handles on seat can unlock unexpectedly
  • Latch on carrying handle can release unexpectedly and cause the seat to flip forward
  • Screws can loosen, causing the seat to fall
  • Restraint shield may appear to be locked when it is not

Sling Carriers

Sling carriers and soft infant carriers are used to carry a baby close to facilitate bonding and feeding. One million Infantino bag style slings were recalled in 2010 because infants can suffocate if their head is covered or low in the bag. Between January 2003 and September 2016, there have been 17 fatal incidents reports and 142 incidents where the child was injured from a sling carrier.

A recall or a corrective action had been issued for infant sling and soft carriers for various reasons including:

  • Buckles on carrier shoulder straps can unexpectedly release or detach
  • Plastic, aluminum, and other metal pieces on some carriers can bend or break
  • Stitching can loosen or detach
  • Babies can suffocate if their airways aren’t kept clear of fabric

The CPSC recently approved new standards for these carriers.  Warning labels need to become more permanent by preventing labels from being attaches from only one side of the label. Additionally, the CPSC is calling for more structural integrity, ensuring the sling can carry 3 times more weight than recommended by manufacturers and retention to prevent child from falling from the sling.

In addition to this, children need to be “visible and kissable”. This can occur when caregivers are provided with images of the proper carrying position, changing the position of the child after nursing to make sure the child’s face is away from the mother’s body and face is not covered by the carrier,making sure the child’s face is never covered to reduce risk of suffocation,  and the caregiver should check all hardware to ensure the sling is functioning properly.

Backpack Carriers

Since 2000, more than 115,000 Backpack Infant carriers have been recalled, including the Baby Trend carrier (left) and theHufco-Delaware Gerry TrailTech carrier (right). Hufco-Delaware received 4 reports of infants slipping through the leg openings of the carrier, 2 reports of infants suffering skull fractures, and 2 reports of infants suffering bumped heads when they fell to the ground.

A recall or a corrective action had been issued for Backpack carriers for various reasons including:

  • Infant can slip through leg opening of carrier
  • Strap slips through the slider
  • Stitching on the strap of the carrier can loosen or detach, causing the carrier to shift
  • Shoulder strap can loosen from the body of the carrier

More Information on Carriers

CPSC Safety Tips
CPSC Safe Babywearing Experience