How Can Baby Carriers Cause Hip Dysplasia?
Baby carriers are useful when used for short periods of time, such as during transport or grocery shopping and preparing meals. However, recent studies have found that carrying a baby in a forward facing baby carrier for many hours each day for the purpose of bonding or infant care may increase the risk for developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) and other severe hip injuries. This risk is higher when babies are placed in baby carriers that do not allow for free movement of the hips without forcing them together.
The International Hip Dysplasia Institute warns that “Any device that restrains a baby’s legs in an unhealthy position should be considered a potential risk for abnormal hip development.” In order to reduce the risk of hip dysplasia and other hip injuries in infants, parents are encouraged to choose a baby carrier that encourages healthy hip positioning.
Which Baby Carriers Increase the Risk of Hip Dysplasia?
- Infantino Baby Carriers (Swift Classic Carrier, Swift With Pocket, Flip Front2Back, Cozy Premium Carrier)
- BabyBjörn Baby Carrier
- Britax Baby Carrier
- Budu Baby Carrier
- Graco 3 in 1 Soft Infant Baby Carrier
- Chicco Baby Carriers (UltraSoft Infant Carrier, UltraSoft Magic Infant Carrier, UltraSoft Magic Air Infant Carrier, UltraSoft LE Infant Carrier)
- Evenflo Baby Carriers (Breathable Carrier, Easy Infant Carrier, Active Carrier, babyGo, Snugli Comfort, Snugli Companion)
- And more
What is the Safe Hip Position for Baby Carriers?
The safest position for an infant’s hips in a baby carrier is sometimes referred to as the “M-position” because of the way the baby’s legs naturally spread apart to the side with their knees bent. Dangerous baby carriers feature narrow seats which do not support the baby’s thighs. If you can see the baby’s legs pointed straight down, the carrier does not provide adequate hip support.
Baby Hip Issues
Injuries resulting from prolonged use of baby carriers and other similar devices include:
- Hip dysplasia
- Arthritis of the hips
- Dislocation of the hips
- Avascular necrosis
- Developmental dislocation of the hip (DDH)
- Minor laxity (looseness) of the hips
- Septic hip (septic arthritis)
- Perthes Disease (Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease)
How Common is Hip Dysplasia?
Developmental dysplasia of the hip occurs in about 1 of every 1,000 babies, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Girls and firstborn children are more likely to have the condition. It can occur in either hip, but is more common on the left side.
Signs and Symptoms of Baby Hip Dysplasia
- One leg longer than the other
- One hip less flexible than the other
- Activity-related groin pain
- Sensation of instability in the hip
Source: Mayo Clinic
Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip and the Pavlik Harness: Children’s Hospital Colorado 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
Pavlik Harness – Specially designed harness that allows movement and positions the baby’s hips in a well aligned and secure position. This movement and positioning can help return a dislocated hip to the proper position.
Hip Abduction Braces – Also known as fixed-abduction braces, these devices hold the legs apart with the hips flexed up. Braces can be used for infants to hold their hips in a properly aligned position to encourage normal hip joint development. Hip abduction braces are most often used as initial treatment when the doctor can feel that the hip goes back into the socket in this position.
Closed Reduction under General Anesthesia – Most common surgical treatment for hip dysplasia for children between the ages of 6 and 24 months. This is a minimally invasive surgery where the physician manipulates the ball of the hip back into the socket.
Open Reduction – Surgery done when it is suspected that tissue is keeping the head of the femur from going back into the acetabulum (socket). In young children, clearing out the hip joint may be all that’s needed. In older children, the ligaments of the hip also need to be repaired.
BabyBjörn Baby Carrier Lawsuit
A recent lawsuit filed in the Central District of California alleges that a “dangerously defective BabyBjörn Original Baby Carrier caused severe hip dysplasia” in an infant. Natalie, guardian of the Plaintiff, “O.T.”, carried the infant in the baby carrier from the time she was 6 weeks old on a daily basis for extended periods of time until O.T. was approximately 6 months old.
“Despite Guardian Natalie’s use of the Baby Carrier in the manner intended by BabyBjörn and reasonably foreseeable by BabyBjörn, the Baby Carrier caused Plaintiff O.T. to develop hip dysplasia,” the complaint states. “Plaintiff O.T. has experienced and will continue to suffer on an ongoing basis significant mental and physical pain and suffering, and permanent injury, which have required or may require corrective surgery.”
Infantino Baby Carrier Lawsuit
Another lawsuit filed in the Southern District of California alleges that Infantino “Flip” baby carriers are defectively designed in a manner that does not provide adequate support for the infant’s hips. “As a result, the Baby Carrier presents a dangerous risk of hip dysplasia, particularly with prolonged use,” the complaint states. “From at least 2002, Infantino was aware, or should have been aware, that the Baby Carrier’s design carried a dangerous propensity to cause hip dysplasia in children.”
Evenflo Baby Carrier Lawsuit
A third baby carrier lawsuit filed in the Northern District of California alleges that a dangerously defective Evenflo “Snugli Comfort” Baby Carrier caused a woman’s son to develop hip dysplasia. “As a result of this preventable injury, Plaintiff R.R. suffered greatly, having to wear a stiff brace for a minimum of 8 hours a day for approximately one year,” the complaint states. “Plaintiff R.R.’s treaters continue to monitor his hip dysplasia and warn that surgery may be required.”
Important Information about Filing Your Claim
In order to qualify for a baby carrier hip dysplasia 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 Class Action Lawsuit?
The Class Action 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.