There has been quite a comotion in the babywearing world this weekend. If you are active in any babywearing Facebook groups or The Babywearer site I’m sure you’ve seen some talk.
For those of you who have no idea what’s been going, I will very briefly and generally give you a synopsis:
The CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) has baby carriers and slings under scrutiny because of past safety issues. They opened up a public forum on their page (http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=CPSC-2014-0018-0001 ) that went wrong. Members of the babywearing community began commenting without full knowledge of the issue and unfortunately those comments were harmful.
Most comments were along the lines of the safety of baby carriers all depends on the user. CPSC needs to find a way that the average consumer can safely use a baby carrier. If they cannot, carriers may be banned in the US. The carriers in question are wraps, pouch slings, bag slings and ring slings.
There is an organization BCIA (Baby Carrier Industry Alliance) who acts as a voice for the babywearing community. Sadly comments were made on the public CPSC forum before the BCIA was able to advise what the best course of action should be.
See the public statement from the BCIA here: http://babycarrierindustryalliance.org/2014/09/sling-safety-standard-public-comment/
Since the damage of the public forum has already been done at this point we, as members of the babywearing community, need to stand behind the BCIA in support. If you read the public statement that I linked above you will see guidelines they suggest to follow before posting any public comment on the CPSC forum.
What are some way we can support the BCIA?
*Avoid spreading false information. Many babywearing groups on Facebook are discouraging discussion about this and referring members to get their information directly from the BCIA page. Even as I type this, I urge you to take what I have said above as a very general overview and please visit their page.
*Join the BCIA. At this point they could use all the support they can get, including monetary support. You can become a friend of the BCIA for as little as $25.
Babywearing is a huge part of the natural parenting community. It’s a huge part of my life as well. It’s scary to think of the worse case scenario if the CPSC decides there can be no standards to test the safety of slings. I have confidence that the BCIA will do everything possible to stand behind the babywearing community.
If you are interested in watching the video of the briefing you can view it here: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Newsroom/Multimedia/?vid=70227