A three-week-old boy named Harvey died on April 8, 2019, after he suffocated due to his head being pressed against his chest while he was in a sling, according to a NSW coroner. His mother found him lifeless and pale at a local health centre.
Derek Lee, a NSW coroner, ruled that positional asphyxia was the cause of death. Although the sling’s fabric might have been too close to the baby’s face, it was most likely caused by his head being pressed against his chest.
According to the coroner, the position of Harvey’s neck and the chin resting on his chest compromised his airway.
Due to his low weight, Harvey’s head and muscle control might have been less effective, which prevented him from maintaining a patent airway.
Lee also cleared the staff members of the health centre and the manufacturer of the sling.
The manufacturer had affixed a suffocation warning on the wrap and included an instruction booklet with the product.
The booklet also warned users about the various features of the sling, such as its ability to carry babies upright. It also stated that the chin should be off the parent’s chest.
Witnesses said that the entire body of Harvey was inside the sling, and it was unclear if it could hold a child.
Harvey’s mother collapsed upon learning that her son had died at the clinic.
She did not participate in the inquest, but there was no evidence suggesting that she committed any criminal act.