Yesterday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada announced a recall of nearly 1 million baby slings in the United States, 15,000 in Canada, and 14,000 in Europe. The recall is for the Infantino “Sling Rider” and “Wendy Bellissimo,” pictured above. The CPSC is advising parents to stop using these products for children four months and younger. The warning is posted here .
Three deaths occurred in these slings in 2009. Additionally, the CPSC has been investigating 13 deaths that have taken place over the past 20 years, also allegedly due to babywearing.
This particular recall is due to a risk of suffocation. The Infantino “Sling Rider” and “Wendy Bellissimo” sold at national retailers (Walmart, Burlington Coat Factory, Target, Babies R Us, BJ’s Wholesale) and Amazon.com between January 2003 and March 2010 are included in the recall. Infantino is offering a replacement item and a baby rattle.
The risks included:
Fabric pressing against the baby’s nose and mouth, causing suffocation within minutes
The curled shape that results in a chin-to-chest position for the baby, restricting airflow
CPSC is also in the process of creating a mandatory standard for sling carriers. They want to hear if you’ve had any incidents or problems with this particular product. Check here for more information.
Now, I don’t think all slings should be avoided, as babywearing has proven to be beneficial for babies and parents. Babywearing International Inc. shares a great point made by pediatrician Lois Balster, “Using a sling incorrectly is like using an infant car seat without proper installation, infant positioning, and restraints. It’s always important to position your baby safely in any carrier or infant-carrying device.”
Research has shown that babywearing or keeping babies close by caregivers lessens crying, calms babies, and helps them sleep. Babywearing International, Inc. also shares some positioning guidelines:
Act as if you were holding the babybe aware of your surroundings, avoid hazardous situations
Make sure the baby’s back and torso are supported
Make sure you can get two fingers between the baby’s chin and chest
How many of you are babywearers? Have you used the “Sling Rider” or “Wendy Bellissimo”? Or had any problems with your slings?