After 3 Deaths, Infantino Recalls Baby Slings

Infantino has finally issued recalls to replace <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/product_liability">SlingRider Baby Slings following three reported infant deaths, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Health Canada (HC) just announced. The CPSC is very strongly advising consumers: Do not attempt to fix these carriers.

The replacement program is free and involves the Infantino “SlingRider” and “Wendy Bellissimo” infant slings. One million of these infant slings are being recalled in the United States and 15,000 are being recalled in Canada. The CPSC is advising consumers to immediately stop using these slings for infants younger than four months of age due to a risk of suffocation and is also advising consumers to contact Infantino for a free replacement product.

CPSC is aware of three reports of deaths that occurred in these slings in 2009; a seven-week-old infant in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; a six-day-old infant in Salem, Oregon; and a three-month-old infant in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Infantino “SlingRider,” 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 pounds. “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”-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.

Infantino LLC sold the slings in the United States and Canada from January 2003 through March 2010 at Walmart, Burlington Coat Factory, Target, Babies “R” Us, BJ’s Wholesale, various baby and children’s stores, and other retailers nationwide, and on the Web at Amazon.com, for between $25 and $30.

The product was manufactured in China and Thailand.

Consumers should stop using the recalled slings immediately and contact Infantino to receive a free replacement product, with a choice of a Wrap & Tie infant carrier, or a 2-in-1 Shopping Cart Cover, or a 3-in-1 Grow & Play Activity Gym. A Jittery Pals Rattle will also be provided. Contact Infantino toll-free at (866) 860-1361 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Pacific Time, Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.infantino.com

The CPSC also wrote that on March 12, 2010, it issued a warning (viewable at: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10165.html) about sling carriers for babies, which can pose two different types of suffocation hazards. 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.

There currently are no safety standards for infant sling carriers and the 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.

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