March 24, 2010 -- On the heels of a warning that baby slings can kill infants, Infantino LLC has recalled 1 million of the products in the U.S. and 15,000 in Canada.
At least three children died in these slings in 2009: a 7-week-old in Philadelphia, a 6-day old infant in Salem, Ore., and a 3-month-old in Cincinnati.
Infantino is recalling two popular brands of the slings: the "Wendy Bellissimo" sold exclusively at Babies 'R' Us; and the "SlingRider" sold at Walmart, Burlington Coat Factory, Target, BJ's Wholesale, and other stores since January 2003.
The products sold for between $25 and $30. "Infantino" is printed on a plastic slider on the product shoulder strap. The brand names are printed on the instruction/warning label inside the baby sling.
Infantino is offering to replace the slings with a choice of the Wrap & Tie infant carrier, a 2-in-1 Shopping Cart Cover, or a 3-in-1 Grow & Play Activity Gym. The company is also offering a Jittery Pals Rattle with each exchange.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission warns that parents should not try to fix the recalled baby slings. The slings pose two types of danger to infants:
- During the first few months of life, infants cannot control their heads because their neck muscles are too weak. They cannot turn their heads when the sling fabric presses against their nose and mouth, suffocating the baby in just one or two minutes.
- When the sling holds a baby in a curled position with its chin bent toward its chest, the infant's airway is restricted. The child, unable to cry for help, slowly suffocates.
The CPSC is developing a mandatory standard for baby slings. While this standard is being developed, the CPSC is working with manufacturers to come up with an effective voluntary standard. Currently, there is no safety standard for baby slings.
Consumers who own the recalled products should call Infantino at 866-860-1361 during business hours or visit the company's web site at www.infantino.com.
Anyone with knowledge of an injury caused by a baby sling should contact the CPSC at https://www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/incident.aspx.