San Diego-based Infatino, the makers of the “Slingrider” and the “Wendy Bellissimo” baby slings, issued a recall of at least 1 million slings yesterday after several reports of infants dying because of the sling. The company said that customers should stop using the slings immediately, and offered replacement slings free of charge.
In early March, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning about the slings, stating that it had linked at least 14 deaths to the use of slings, most of them involving infants younger than five months old. CNN.com profiles two families that lost children purportedly because of the sling, one of whom has filed a lawsuit against Infatino for designing and distributing a defective product.
The CPSC issued the following statement:
“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,” the joint statement said. “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.”
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