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Baby sling safety

(NBC) - Baby slings are a must have for new moms. They are comfy and cozy, but can they harm your baby?

A report from the Consumer Products Safety Commission is expected in about a week.  It's really not the sling that's dangerous. It's how you use it.

Roxanne Bedford Hoge owns a maternity shop. She said a sling is like an extra pair of hands.

"I can't think of one other thing that a mother would need other than canned sleep," Hoge said.

Recent reports of seven deaths due to certain usage of certain slings may be due more to the mother than the baby according to this expert.

"There's going to be a large amount of sort of neglect there," Hoge explained.

You can get the benefits without the risks by taking a few simple steps.  First of all, don't put very young babies deep into the sling where you can't see them, where they could flex their neck and stop breathing.

Instead, put then the other way where you can see them with their neck extended.

With older babies, make sure that the sling fabric is high above the shoulder and acts as a swaddle beneath the bottom. With very young babies you may want to tuck the feet in as well. 

Hoge gave us the most crucial step of all. 

"Just pay attention that the baby is positioned correctly, check on him or her once in a while, don't do too many other things," Hoge said. 

The major thing to avoid is the baby falling into a tight curved position inside the sling.  If you keep baby's head out and keep checking on the child, the sling can help without causing danger.

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