Although carriers are typically used to safely transport children, injuries do occur while using these products. An average of one child aged 5 years and younger is treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments every two hours for a carrier-related injury.
- Most children are injured when they fall from the carrier or when the carrier tips over.
- The head and face were the most commonly injured parts of the body.
- While many of the injuries are soft tissue injuries like bumps and bruises, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)/concussions accounted for one-third (35%) of carrier-related injuries.
Parents and child caregivers can help children stay safer by following these tips:
- Always buckle up. Follow all manufacturer’s instructions for properly securing children in carriers. Make sure your child is buckled or strapped in at all times.
- Get a model that fits your child. Carriers are not one-size fits all – they have age and weight limits. Make sure to get one that is the right size for your child and follow all manufacturer’s guidelines for use.
- Keep it low. Keep carriers low to the ground so the child has a shorter fall if the carrier tips over.
- Slow down and sit down. Take time to put it on properly. Sit down when placing your baby in or taking them out.
- See baby’s face. Make sure you can always see your child’s face and that they can breathe easily. Make sure nothing is blocking baby’s nose and mouth and baby’s chin is away from her chest.
- If nursing the baby in a sling, change the baby’s position after feeding so the baby’s head is facing up and is clear of the sling and the mother’s body.
- Check for recalls. There have been several recalls of these products in recent years. Check www.recalls.gov to see if the model you plan to use has been recalled.
Learn more about stroller-related injuries here.
Baby Carrier Resources:
- Press Release: Study Finds Average of Two Injuries Every Hour in the U.S. from Strollers and Carriers - August 2016
- PubMed Abstract: Injuries Associated With Strollers and Carriers Among Children in the United States, 1990 to 2010