Babywearing is generally a very safe activity. The specific issues that were in the news a few years ago were related to one specific design of baby carrier that was manufactured by a large corporation without a good understanding of safe babywearing.
That said, babywearing does carry risks. Please keep the following safety tips in mind:
1. Make sure your baby has adequate airflow. Do not cover your baby’s face. Make sure baby’s airway is safe at all times. (Baby’s chin should not be on his or chest – make sure you can fit at least two fingers between baby’s chin and chest at all times.) Check on your baby often until you really get the hang of slings!
2. Do not drop your baby! Make sure you hold your baby securely with your arm/arms until they are held securely by the sling. Practice new carriers or carries over a sofa or bed, or at least while kneeling on the ground over a pillow. Have experienced babywearers help you if you’re feeling unsure. Baby should feel secure to you – if baby feels like like he or she is going to slip or fall, double check your positioning with experienced babywearers.
3. Babywearing in winter is nice, especially being able to snuggle with baby under your coat. Please don’t zip your coat up all the way. Leave it open enough to allow air to reach your baby. Never cover your baby’s face.
4. Check your sling before every use, after laundering, etc. to make sure the seams are secure and the fabric is sturdy. All weight-bearing seams should be reinforced.
5. Keep a hand on your baby when walking in crowded areas, and be aware of your baby’s presence. Every parent eventually bangs their baby’s head on something, but try to minimize this by being particularly careful around doors and doorways and while bending or stooping. Use the handrail on stairs.
6. Don’t be an idiot. Don’t wear your baby in a moving vehicle. Don’t wear your baby while using a trampoline or running.
For more about safe positioning, please check out this link.
For more about babywearing safety in general, BWI has a great document, as does the BCIA.