Many parents rely on baby swings to soothe their newborn babies to sleep; the baby swing can feel like a life saver when you have a colicky baby and your arms need a rest. It is important, however, to purchase a swing that follows the federal safety standards for baby swings that went into effect in May 2013. Additionally, parents should follow swing safety basics to avoid a tragic accident. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 351 infants were injured in baby swings between 2009 and 2012. Since 2001, 15 infant deaths have been attributed to infant swing accidents with at least one third of them due to “slump over” suffocations.
2013 Safety Standards
- Explicit warning label telling parents and caregivers to use the swing in the most reclined position until an infant is four months old and can hold up their head without help. This standard is meant to prevent accidents due to slumping over.
- Stricter manufacturer testing for tipping, folding, and problems with restraint systems.
- Swings that run on batteries now require power pack designs that prevent battery leakage and overheating.
Baby Swing Safety Standards
Look for these safety features when shopping for a swing:
- The swing should be sturdy and stable.
- Make sure the swing has a wide base and a low center of gravity to prevent a tipping accident.
- The swing must have safety straps; preferably with a five point and crotch harness that is secure, durable, and easy to fasten and unfasten.
- Lock the adjustable recline position securely in place.
- If you use a second hand baby swing, check it for wear and tear and ensure that the straps and locking mechanisms are in good shape.
- Perform a search for baby swing recalls on your chosen model-never use a recalled product!
- Send in your product registration card/fill in the online form so that you will be notified if your baby swing is recalled.
Based on these revised CPSC recommendations, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a new list of safety tips for keeping babies safer in infant swings:
- Infants under four months of age should be seated in the most reclined swing position to avoid slumping over and suffocating.
- Before placing your baby in the swing, do a test run to make sure it’s stable and balanced and not in danger of tipping over or accidentally folding up.
- Look to see that the swing’s cradle surface stays fairly flat while in motion so the baby will not tip or fall out.
- Always secure the safety straps.
- Remove hanging toys if they are not securely attached.
- Follow the weight limit for the swing.
- Too much time in a swing can cause head flattening so you should ensure baby is also getting plenty of cuddling and play in other positions.
- Never leave a baby unattended in a swing, particularly when they are sleeping.
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!