Earlier this month, I wrote about the recent alert issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), warning parents and caregivers of possible suffocation hazards posed by baby slings. And now, in response to this warning, the CPSC has announced a voluntary recall of 1 million slings made by Infantino.
Infantino's Sling Rider and the Wendy Bellissimo have been under investigation by the CPSC due to reports from consumers that these slings pose a suffocation risk. In a recent interview on CBS's The Early Show, CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum was asked how quickly a child could suffocate in one of these slings. Her response, "In a matter of minutes." There are currently no federal or voluntary safety standards for infant slings.
Tenenbaum says three children died in Infantino slings last year alone.
Infants younger than four months, with their weak neck muscles, are at greatest risk in slings. An infant can curl into a "C"-shape, with the chin falling into the chest — restricting the baby's airway.
In a statement, Infantino says, "Safety is our No. 1 concern," adding it "has also been working closely with the CPSC and other agencies … to develop safety standards for baby slings." The company is advising consumers to stop using the recalled slings immediately and to contact Infantino to receive a free replacement product, including a choice of the Wrap & Tie infant carrier, the 2 in 1 Shopping Cart Cover, or the 3 in 1 Grow & Play Activity Gym, plus a Jittery Pal Rattle.