Infantino LLC is recalling more than 1 million of its infant slings after reports surfaced of three fatalities of infants who suffocated while in them.
The two models involved in the baby sling recall are Infantino's “SlingRider” and “Wendy Bellissimo.” They were sold in the US and Canada from January 2003 through March 2010 at Wal-Mart, Target, Babies “R” Us, and other stores nationwide, retailing for between $25 and $30.
To check if you own one of the affected models, look for the labels on the slings. For the “SlingRider,” a soft fabric baby carrier, “Infantino,” “SlingRider,” and the item number are printed on the instruction/warning label inside the carrier. “Wendy Bellissimo” branded carriers 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.
If you own one of the recalled slings, contact Infantino toll-free at (866) 860-1361 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Pacific Dayllight Time on weekdays, or visit its recall website at http://service.infantino.com/UnitedStatesRecalls.html. The company is offering a free replacement carrier or other products.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says it is has received reports of three infant deaths involving the slings during 2009: a 7-week-old infant in Philadelphia; a 6-day-old infant in Salem, Ore.; and a 3-month-old infant in Cincinnati.
The CPSC had previously warned of the danger of using such slings with young children in mid-March. In the first months of life, infants aren't able to shift their head if their airflow is restricted. Additionally, the position of the child in the swing – curled with chin resting on chest – can make breathing difficult. (Click through the photos above for examples of proper and improper positioning.)
The CPSC is currently working to establish safety standards for sling carriers.