More than 1 million Infantino slings were recalled this morning after 3 infants have died due to suffocating. This is very sad and potentially harmful to parents in favor of baby wearing, at least in my eyes. I can just see where this could go, especially since there are no federal safety rules for baby slings.
One million of these infant slings are being recalled in the United States and 15,000 are being recalled in Canada. CPSC advises consumers to immediately stop using these slings for infants younger than four months of age due to a risk of suffocation and contact Infantino for a free replacement product.
CPSC is aware of three reports of deaths that occurred in these slings in 2009; a 7-week-old infant in Philadelphia, Pa.; a 6-day-old infant in Salem, Ore.; and a 3-month-old infant in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Infantino “SlingRider,” (editor’s note: top photo) is a soft fabric baby carrier with a padded shoulder strap that is worn by parents and caregivers to carry an infant weighing up to 20 lbs. “Infantino” is printed on the plastic slider located on the strap. “Infantino,” “SlingRider” and the item number are printed on the instruction/warning label inside the baby sling carrier. “Wendy Bellissimo” (editor’s note: bottom photo) branded sling carriers were sold exclusively at Babies “R” Us and have a sewn-in label on the inside of the sling strap that says in part “Wendy Bellissimo Media, Inc.” and lists Item numbers 3937500H7 and 3937501H7.
Contact Infantino toll-free at (866) 860-1361 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.infantino.com
Earlier this month when reports were circulating about the safety of baby slings, I have to admit that I did not pay much attention to it. Shame on me, right? But the thing is I have seven children and have used baby wearing in some form or another with each one of them. Just because there have been a couple deaths, remember only three, which all occurred last year – I’m not going to let that change my philosophy of keeping my baby close to me during their first few months. That is not to say that I am not concerned about the parents of these lost children because I sympathize with them and know how much they are hurting. It also makes me more aware of how important baby’s position is while being worn in a baby carrier, like a sling.
On March 12, 2010, CPSC issued a warning about sling carriers for babies. Slings can pose two different types of suffocation hazards to babies. In the first few months of life, babies cannot control their heads because of weak neck muscles. The sling’s fabric can press against an infant’s nose and mouth, blocking the baby’s breathing and rapidly suffocating a baby within a minute or two. Additionally, where a sling keeps the infant in a curled position bending the chin toward the chest, the airways can be restricted, limiting the oxygen supply. The baby will not be able to cry for help and can slowly suffocate.
CPSC has determined that a mandatory standard is needed for infant sling carriers. While a mandatory standard is being developed, CPSC staff is working with ASTM International and concerned companies such as Infantino to quickly develop an effective voluntary standard for slings. There currently are no safety standards for infant sling carriers.