WASHINGTON, D.C. - After reports of three infant deaths, the government ordered a recall Wednesday of 1 million “SlingRider” and “Wendy Bellissimo” infant slings, in conjunction with the manufacturer Infantino of San Diego, Calif.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission urged consumers to immediately stop using these slings for infants younger than four months of age due to a risk of suffocation and contact Infantino for a free replacement product.
At the same time Canada Health is recalling 15,000 of the slings that were sold in Canada.
The commission is aware of three reports of deaths that occurred in these carriers in 2009: a 7-week-old infant in Philadelphia, Pa.; a 6-day-old infant in Salem, Ore.; and a 3-month-old infant in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Infantino “SlingRider,” is a soft fabric baby carrier with a padded shoulder strap that is worn by parents and caregivers to carry an infant weighing up to 20 pounds. “Infantino” is printed on the plastic slider located on the strap.
“Infantino,” “SlingRider” and the item number are printed on the instruction label inside the baby sling carrier. “Wendy Bellissimo” branded sling carriers were sold exclusively at Babies “R” Us and 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.
Infantino sold the slings in the U.S. and Canada from January 2003 through March 2010 at Wal-mart, Burlington Coat Factory, Target, Babies “R” Us, BJ’s Wholesale, various baby and children’s stores and other retailers nationwide, and on the Web at Amazon.com, for between $25 and $30. The products were manufactured in China and Thailand.
Consumers should not attempt to fix the carrier and are advised to contact Infantino toll-free at (866) 860-1361 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, or go to www.infantino.com to receive a free replacement product.
The recalls follows a recent government warning about suffocation risks from the popular carrier-style slings. Reports singled out the “SlingRider” by Infantino because babies can slump into a curved position while inside the sling.