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Mother Discovered Newborn Baby Dead In Carry Sling

A mother-of-three found her newborn son had died after he was unwrapped from a fabric sling.

The mother, 36, made the shocking discovery when she attended a post-natal checkup on April 8, 2019.

The woman and her three-week-old child arrived at the Long Jetty Health Care Centre on the NSW Central Coast for a scheduled appointed at around 10am. The mother then spoke to a nurse at the facility for about 10 minutes.

It was only when the nurse unwrapped the baby boy from the sling that they realised he wasn't breathing. Staff rushed to perform CPR on the baby but it was too late.

The newborn was declared dead at the scene as his hysterical mother watched.

READ MORE: Newborn Baby Abandoned With Heartbreaking Note

Long Jetty Health Care Centre
Long Jetty Health Care Centre entrance. Image: Google Maps.

NSW Police told 10 daily officers from Tuggerah Lakes are investigating the child's death.

Police are not treating the death as suspicious and are trying to determine if the sling was a fabric wrap, as opposed to a purpose-built baby carrier.

"Police are awaiting the results of a post mortem to establish the cause of the child's death," police said in a statement obtained by 10 daily.

police-generic
Police are not treating the death as suspicious. Image: NSW Police.

A report will be prepared for the Coroner ahead of an anticipated inquest into the child's death.

While it's unclear if this child's death was caused by the baby sling, there have been three other deaths in Australia linked to the carrying devices.

Since 2010 the three fatalities occurred after a child's breathing was restricted. Either the baby's face was pressed against the person wearing the sling or the child slipped into a c-shape, preventing full-breathing range.

Baby Sling
There have been three sling-related deaths in Australia since 2010. Image: Getty Images

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) lists "rapid suffocation" as well as "neck injuries, finger traps and pinching especially in infants younger than four months" as risks of baby slings and carriers.

A warning on the Australian parenting website raisingchildren.net.au tells parents slings are not safe for children under the age of four months.

READ MORE: Health Authorities Warn Parents Against Use Of Baby Walkers And Exercise Jumpers

Baby Sling
There are warning for parents to ensure the slings are used properly. Image: Getty Images
Follow The 'TICKS' Checklist When Using A Sling

It's recommended parents follow the UK-developed TICKS checklist when using a baby sling to carry their children.

Tight -- slings and carriers should be tight enough to hug baby close. Any slack/loose fabric will allow baby to slump down which can hinder breathing.

In view at all times --parents should always be able to see baby’s face by simply glancing down. In a cradle position, the baby should face upwards not be turned in towards the body.

Close enough to kiss -- baby’s head should be as close to the chin as is comfortable.

Baby Sling
Parents are urged to follow the TICKS model when using a baby sling. Image: Getty Images.

Keep chin off the check --baby should never be curled so their chin is forced to their chest. There should be a space of at least a finger width under baby’s chin.

Supported back --in an upright carry, the baby should be held comfortably close to the wearer so their back is supported in its natural position and their tummy and chest are against the wearer.

Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au