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1 Million Baby Slings Recalled; Parents Urged To Use Caution

More than 1 million sling-style baby carriers made by Infantino have been recalled after claims linked them to three deaths. The recall involves “SlingRider” and “Wendy Bellissimo” slings sold from 2003 through 2010 at retailers that include Target, Babies "R" Us and Burlington Coat Factory. Consumers can call 866-860-1361 to receive a free replacement product.

Prior to the recall, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission  (CPSC) warned parents to be cautious when using an infant sling carrier for a baby younger than age 4 months.

The dangers: A sling’s fabric can press against an infant’s nose and mouth, blocking breathing and causing suffocation within a minute or two. In their first few months of life, babies’ neck muscles are too weak to control their heads. A second sling danger occurs if a curled infant’s chin is bent toward the chest, limiting oxygen supply. In that situation the baby cannot cry for help and can slowly suffocate.

Three sling-related infant deaths were reported in 2009, and the CPSC is investigating nine other reports of death that occurred in the past 20 years.

Actions: The CPSC advises parents using a sling to make sure the infant’s face is not covered and is visible at all times. If nursing a baby in a sling, change the baby’s position after feeding so the head faces up and is clear of both the sling and the mother’s body.

The CPSC is seeking incident and injury reports related to slings. You can report a problem at 800-638-2772 or www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/incident.aspx

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