As we’ve previously reported on this blog, a 7-week-old infant in Philadelphia, a 6-day-old infant from Salem, OR; and a 3-month-old infant in Cincinnati all died of anoxia, or lack of oxygen, after being carried in an Infantino SlingRider.
Two models are being recalled: Infantino SlingRider and the similar Wendy Bellisimo, which was sold exclusively at Babies “R” Us. The slings were for sale in the U.S. and Canada from January 2003 through March 2010 at Walmart, Burlington Coat Factory, Target, Babies “R” Us, BJ’s Wholesale, Amazon.com, and various other retailers for $25 to $30. The slings were also recalled in Canada.
The CPSC advises consumers to stop using the sling immediately for infants younger than four months old. Babies that young often don't have neck muscles strong enough to hold their head up or turn if their breathing is blocked, so there's a risk of suffocation. Infantino is offering sling owners a choice of replacement products that they may or may not want. See the recall notice for details. Consumers can contact Infantino at 866-860-1361 or at www.infantino.com.
Our Take: We brought our concerns about the hazards of the Infantino SlingRider to the attention of the CPSC last November after we learned of two infant deaths associated with its use. At that time, we requested that they seek a recall of the product before any other babies were hurt. Sadly, another baby died in December after being carried in a SlingRider. We repeated our push for a recall in a blog post on March 10. Part of Consumers Union's mission is to reduce the number of unsafe products in the marketplace; we are very relieved to see this recall.
We bought this sling in the fall of 2008 and stopped using it shortly after due to our own concerns about its safety. It was to late for a store return.
I do not understand why an exchange is being offered since by the time anybody gets one the child is beyond the age it can be used for. They need to take their stuff back and provide reimbursement.
Is there a concern about other slings, particularly the Baby Buddha?