Keeping your baby in a carrier when shopping, cleaning or visiting keeps your hands free and baby in a safe environment. Unfortunately, though, the risk of falls while baby is in the carrier is real − causing bruises, broken bones and even brain injuries.
“In 2014, Akron Children’s saw just over 3,400 children ages 2 and under for fall-related accidents,” said Heather Trnka, injury prevention coordinator at Akron Children’s Hospital. “They weren’t all from carrier accidents, but these types of falls are often avoidable if parents follow basic guidelines when transporting or moving their baby in a carrier.”
Here are 5 tips to keep your baby safe while using a carrier.
- Never place carriers on top of grocery carts, sofas, beds or tabletop surfaces, including exam tables. The latch system on a car carrier isn’t designed to snap into anything but the manufacturer’s base.
- Use the same branded (manufacturer) carrier and stroller system. Even if it seems like a seat fits in another system, the 2 pieces shouldn’t be interchanged.
- Always keep baby buckled in, firmly, even when the seat is out of the car and on a stable surface.
- Make sure the carrier and stroller system is appropriately sized for the height and weight of the baby.
- If baby falls asleep in a carrier, transfer baby to her crib to ensure safe sleep.
“While car carriers support a safe environment for transporting babies, sleep is done best in a crib – not in a seat, hammock or swing,” Trnka said. “Three babies die every week in Ohio from unsafe sleep environments so it’s important parents have their babies sleep alone, on their back, in a crib – no bumpers or blankets needed.”