What's the Problem?
Many parents and caregivers use baby carriers or slings to swaddle babies in an effort to comfort them. However, research has shown that keeping their hips extended in swaddling increases the risk of hip dysplasia, and may be a larger influencing factor for the condition than family history, gender, or breach delivery.
Which Baby Carriers Increase the Risk of Hip Dysplasia?
- Infantino Baby Carrier
- Flip Front2Back Carrier
- Babybjörn Baby Carrier
- Graco Baby Carrier
- Chicco Baby Carrier
- Evenflo Snugli Baby Carrier
- And more
How Can Swaddling Lead to Hip Injury?
Swaddling a baby to help stop crying and increase sleep “may influence the rate of developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH)” because the infant hips are kept extended, which is not an optimal position for hip development, according to a 2008 study published in the journal Pediatrics. Researchers Susan T. Mahan, MD, and James Kasser, MD, further stated that “neonatal hips that initially had a normal physical examination have been shown after swaddling to produce a ‘hip click.”
What is Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip?
In children with developmental dysplasia of the hip, the hip does not form correctly. The ball part of the joint may be completely, or partly, out of the socket. Sometimes the ball part may slide in and out of the socket, which is often shallower than usual. If DDH is not repaired, the hip joint will not grow well. This can lead to pain with walking and hip arthritis at a young age.
Baby Hip Dysplasia Symptoms
- The leg on the side of the dislocated hip may appear shorter.
- The leg on the side of the dislocated hip may turn outward.
- The folds in the skin of the thigh or buttocks may appear uneven.
- The space between the legs may look wider than normal.
Source: Boston Children's Hospital
Understanding Baby Hip Dysplasia & Instability: Mayo Clinic Video
Complications of DDH
Without treatment, developmental dysplasia of the hip can lead to serious problems in early adulthood or even sooner. These include:
- Avascular Necrosis
- Minor Laxity
- Dislocation of the hips
- Antalgic Gait
- Shortened Stature
- Other hip injuries
Hip Dysplasia Treatment
Treatment for hip dysplasia depends on the age of the patient and the extent of the hip damage, according to the Mayo Clinic. Babies are usually treated with a soft brace, such as a Pavlik harness, that holds the ball of the joint in its socket for several months. This helps the socket mold to the shape of the ball.
Babywearing Safety Tips
Before placing an infant into any baby carrier or similar device, use these tips to ensure safety:
- Carry your baby in the correct position - Keeping him or her sitting upright with their neck fully supported, airways open, chin off the chest, as well as close against you and higher up on your torso.
- Sit baby in an ergonomic position - Baby should be sitting in a natural wide-leg, spread-squat position with their knees higher than their buttocks.
- Secure all carrier fasteners - Make sure any buckles, snaps, wraps, etc., are securely fastened or locked to keep baby safe and secure inside the carrier.
- Check fabric for wear and tear - Fabric tears and holes could make the baby carrier unsafe to use.
- Be cautious and alert - Because your center of gravity changes when you wear your baby, your chances of falling increases. Be aware of your surroundings and careful on stairs, slippery surfaces, curbs and other tripping hazards.
Do I Qualify to File a Claim?
In order to qualify for compensation through the filing of a lawsuit, the following criteria must be met:
- Injured party must still be under 18;
- Injured party must have been carried in a baby carrier that does not force the legs into the "M" position;
- Baby carrier must have been used in the first 12 months of life;
- Injured party must have sustained a hip injury;
- Injury must not have been the result of a traumatic fall or dropping;
- Injured party must not have been born before 32 weeks (10 weeks premature);
- Injured party must not have been born via a breech (feet first, upside down) delivery. Breech C-section okay;
- Injured party must have received treatment for the hip Injury.
Do I Have a Baby Carrier Lawsuit?
The Products Liability Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Baby Carrier Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury cases in all 50 states.
If your child or other loved one developed hip dysplasia after being carried in a recalled baby carrier, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.