Parents are issuing with a timely reminder after their baby boy died after being carried in a sling.
Mum Marianne Matthews shared her story on ROSPA in the hopes of preventing more tragedies.
“I write this blog in memory of my first child Eric, and with the hope that this message will help prevent more tragedies like ours,” the blog begins.
“Eric was four-weeks-old when he became unconscious while I was carrying him in a stretchy wrap baby sling – soft fabric that wraps around the chest and waist and holds baby, allowing a parent to keep their hands free as they go about their everyday tasks.”
On Christmas Eve 2013, Marianne took Eric for a walk in the sling. “He started to get a bit hungry and I tried to breastfeed him whilst carrying him,” she said.
“Everything happened so quickly and quietly I didn't realise that something was very wrong. He had either choked or got into difficulties. By the time I got back, he had stopped breathing.”
“We called 999 and tried to resuscitate him. Sadly Eric never regained consciousness, and passed away in our arms a week later on New Year's Day 2014.”
As a new mum, Marianne says she wasn’t aware of the dangers of using a sling.
“The dangers of slings were not mentioned in the antenatal classes we attended, or in any of the baby books we read,” she said.
Now the mum hopes that sharing her story will help prevent any more deaths.
“My advice is not to use a baby sling for a newborn baby – wait a few weeks until they are stronger and have more neck control,” she said.
“Don't be tempted to multi-task by feeding a baby in a sling and check for safety standards and warnings before choosing a product.”