On Wednesday, March 24, 2010, Infantino LLC and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a safety recall of more than 1 million Infantino “SlingRider” and “Wendy Bellissimo” baby sling carriers in the U.S. and Canada, following reports of at least three infant deaths associated with the products. The recall is a follow-up to a CPSC warning announced earlier this month concerning the risk of suffocation in baby slings, which have been linked to at least 14 infant deaths in the past 20 years.
The CPSC explains that baby slings can be dangerous, especially in babies under 4 months of age, when the soft sling fabric presses against a baby’s mouth and nose or when the baby’s breathing is constricted when lying in a “C-like” position. If a baby’s weak neck muscles are unable to lift the head, the head can flop forward and the baby can suffocate within minutes, unable to cry for help.
“Infantino has also been working closely with the CPSC and other agencies, as well as the international agency ASTM to develop safety standards for baby slings to ensure that these products are safe and that they are used appropriately,” said Jack Vresics, president of Infantino, in a company statement. “We will continue to play a leadership role in the industry and to cooperate closely with CPSC as it continues its investigation of all baby slings.”
At least three infant deaths have been associated with Infantino slings in 2009, including 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. There are currently no federal safety standards for infant sling carriers.
The recalled slings were sold in various stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com from January 2003 through March 2010.
Consumers are advised to stop using the recalled slings immediately and contact Infantino at 866-860-1361 to receive a free replacement product and a rattle.