Carriers and Slings

by Guest
Posted August 4 2010 02:52pm



Baby carriers come in three types: front carriers, slings and backpacks. What you choose will depend on the age and weight of your child, and the type of activity for which the carrier will be used.
Front carriers consist of two shoulder straps supporting a deep fabric seat. Slings are wide swaths of fabric worn across the adult's torso and supported by a single shoulder strap. Backpacks are similar to camping-style backpacks, but have a seat for your baby instead of a storage compartment for gear. Most are supported by a lightweight aluminum frame to distribute the child's weight evenly across the carrier’s shoulders and hips. Each type has advantages and disadvantages.
Health Canada advises caution when using slings and soft infant carriers as injuries have happened when: a baby falls over the side or slips through the leg openings; a baby has fallen from the sling or carrier when a parent trips; the product breaks and a baby becomes improperly positioned in the product and suffocates.  Health Canada is developing a safety standard for infant slings.

Choosing a safe baby carrier or sling:

  • Consider when and how you will use a carrier or sling, and how easy it is to put your baby in and for you or your partner to wear.
  • Choose a carrier that is comfortable for baby. Leg holes should be banded with elastic or padded fabric, and a there should be a padded support for your baby’s head. 
  • Choose a carrier that holds and supports the child securely. Give the harness and seat a few gentle tugs to make sure all belts, buckles and straps are in working condition. 
  • Choose a carrier with reflective strips, if you will be using it at night. If you cannot find a carrier with reflective strips, add your own. 
  • Choose a carrier with durable fabric and that is easy to clean.
  • Try out the carrier or sling in the store—it should be comfortable and a good size for you or your partner.  
  • Choose a backpack with a safety harness that clasps across your baby’s chest and over her shoulders. 
  • Choose a backpack with an adjustable inside seat, so it can continue to be used as your baby grows.

Baby carrier and sling safety:

  • Never leave your baby unattended in the baby carrier or backpack.
  • Always follow the instructions provided with carriers, slings and backpacks.
  • Check every time before you use the carrier, sling or backpack for ripped seams, missing or loose fasteners, and frayed seats or straps; repair them as needed or dispose of it. 
  • Check your baby frequently while you are using these products to be sure that: baby’s nose or mouth are not pressed against fabric or that his head has not bent forward onto his chest. His head and face should always be visible.
  • Do not zip your coat around the baby in a sling or carrier.
  • Hold onto baby when bending over, to keep her from falling out of the sling or carrier.
  • Consult with your paediatrician if your baby is premature or has medical conditions that may make use of these products a safety issue for your baby. 
  • Use the safety straps all the time when using a baby carrier or backpack, even when indoors.
  • Don’t put your baby in a carrier or backpack that is resting on a raised surface—your baby may rock or tip and fall over.
  • Avoid using the sling or carrier if you are doing activities such as cooking, cycling or drinking hot beverages.

Visit Health Canada's Website for more information on safety for carriers and slings.

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Baby Hammocks

by Maxine
Posted August 27 2010 01:21pm

Baby hammocks are made of woven fabric that may be hung from a metal or wood frame. Health Canada advises parents not to use a baby hammock.

A baby is at risk of rolling and becoming wedged in a position where they would be unable to breathe when these items are used. There is also the risk of falling out of the hammock. If you receive a baby hammock do not use it and dispose it in a way that it can not be reused.

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Car Seats

by Maxine
Posted August 4 2010 02:53pm

Car crashes are the number one cause of death for Canadian children. Ensure your child’s safety by choosing the right type of car seat for his age, height and weight.

In Canada, it is mandatory for anyone transporting a young child to make sure the child is properly secured in the correct seat. This law applies not only to parents, but to relatives and caregivers such as nannies and babysitters.

Car seats come in four main types:

  • rear-facing seats
  • convertible rear-facing seats
  • forward-facing seats 
  • booster seats

Rear-facing car seats provide newborns and infants with special protection.
Rear-facing infant car seats are required for infants weighing 10 kg (22 lbs) or less, or until an infant measures 66 to 74 cm (26 to 29 inches) in height.

Convertible rear-facing car seats can be used facing toward the rear of the car until the maximum limits of height and weight for which the seat is rated are reached. After that, they can be converted to forward-facing seats. Forward-facing seats allow babies to face the front of the car and are for babies over 1 year of age.  

Forward-facing child car seats are required for infants over 1 year old who weigh between 9 kg and 18 kg (20 to 40 lbs) and up to 102 cm (40 inches. In height
Booster seats raise children up off the back seat of the vehicle to position them properly in adult seatbelts. They are usually used for children from about 4 or 5 years to about 9 years of age. The seat you choose depends on the age, height and weight of your child. Booster seats are required for children under the age of 8 or 9, weighing more than 18 kg but less than 36 kg (40 to 80 lbs) and who stand less than 145 cm (4 feet 9 inches) tall.

Seat belts are used when they fit your child correctly usually about 9 years and who are over 145 cm (4 feet 9 inches). The seat belt fits your child correctly when the lap belt fits low over the hips and the shoulder belt fits over the shoulder without touching the neck.
Choosing a safe car seat:

  • Check that the car seat has a label indicating that it meets Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and have a National Safety Mark on them. Car seats that are made in the United States may not meet these standards.
  • Check the car seat labels to find the expiry date or useful life date.  Depending on the make and model the expiry time may be 5-8 years. 
  • Choose a car seat that is compatible with your car. Ask to check the fit of a floor model in your own car. If purchasing a seat after your baby is born, bring your baby to the store to test the seat before you buy it. 
  • Check the store’s return policy. It’s important to know that you can return the seat if you are unhappy with it for any reason. 
  • Choose a car seat with removable, washable fabric, especially if you intend to keep the seat for a long time. 
  • Replace your car seat if it was in the car during a crash.
  • Don’t choose a second-hand car seat unless you have the instructions and know that it has not been in a crash, been recalled or is past the expiry date..

Car seat safety:

  • Do make sure the car seat is properly installed by following the manufacturer’s instructions closely.
  • Use the seatbelt every time your child is in the car. 
  • Do check the seat every time you use it. The seat should not move more than 2.5 cm (1 inch) in any direction
  • Do send in the registration card or warranty card. This way you should be notified if the car seat is recalled. 
  • Don’t choose a car seat that is not labelled for use in Canada. 
  • Don’t place a rear-facing infant car seat in a front passenger seat equipped with an air bag. 
  • Don’t use a car seat that is past its expiry date, The plastics, fabric and buckles may start to wear out. Also safety regulations may have changed.

When using a car seat in your home:

  • Do keep car seats on the floor. Babies can rock themselves off of raised surfaces, or the car seat can be knocked over accidentally.
  • Do keep the car seat’s straps fastened when moving your baby indoors. 
  • Do monitor your baby when in the car seat indoors.  
  • Don’t leave car seats on soft surfaces—your baby could suffocate.
  • Don’t use a car seat as a crib. Babies have died after slipping and becoming tangled in car seat straps.


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