On March 24, a recall was issued for more than one million baby slings manufactured by Infantino due to a risk of personal injury or wrongful death after three claims linking them to infant deaths were made.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there is a risk of babies suffocating in the soft fabric slings. The agency urged parents to immediately cease the use of the slings for babies under the age of 4 months.
One million “SlingRider” and “Wendy Bellisimo” slings made by Infantino are under recall in the U.S. and 15,000 are under recall in Canada. The company’s president, Jack Vresics, says that the company has been working closely with the CPSC on its concerns over the product. He says the company would offer affected customers a free replacement baby carrier, activity gym, or shopping cart cover.
The sling is designed to wrap around the chest for parents to carry their babies or just keep them close as they bond.
A broad CPSC warning was issued earlier in March about sling-style baby carriers, saying that they pose a potential risk of suffocation to infants, particularly under the age of 4 months. Babies with a low birth weight, born prematurely, or that had breathing problems such as colds were also at risk.
The CPSC did not single out a specific type of sling or manufacturer in the initial warning. The agency said that it had identified or was investigating at least 14 deaths associated with baby slings over the past 20 years.
In its announcement on Wednesday, the CPSC said that three deaths occurred in 2009 that were linked to Infantino slings. It did not specify how the babies died.
In the general warning, the CPSC said that there were two different ways infants could suffocate in the slings:
- The fabric could press against the nose and mouth of the baby, blocking his or her breathing and causing suffocation within a minute or two.
- In a sling where the baby is cradled in a curved position, nestling the baby below the chest of the mother or near her belly could cause a baby without a strong neck to flop his or her head forward, chin-to-chest, restricting his or her ability to breathe and take away his or her ability to cry for help.