The suffocation of seven infants has the Consumer Product Safety Commission issuing a warning to parents about problems with a baby sling harness-like devices.
The sling allows a parent to carry the child in a prone position in a sack-like bag that is attached around the neck of an adult. But because of the potential dangers, the slings will be the subject of a warning to be issued by the agency later this week.
“We know of too many deaths in these slings and we now know the hazardous scenarios for very small babies,” said Inez Tenenbaum, chair of the CPSC.
She spoke at a meeting of the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, a certifying industry group. Tenenbaum did not cite any one manufacturer, but there have been complaints for years
Seven Babies Dead
Over the last 11 years, seven infant deaths have occurred allegedly in connection with baby slings.
The deaths have been ruled suffocation and some have been ruled as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), which generally means the death is unexplained. The problem may come when an infant’s head bends forward cutting off the supply of oxygen.
Consumer Reports has identified at least two infants who have suffocated in baby slings made by Infantino of San Diego, California.
Included among the dead, six-day-old Derrick Fowler of Oregon. He suffocated against his mother while had him in a sling as she shopped. A seven-week-old boy from Philadelphia also suffocated in a sling around both him and his mother.
The mothers had no idea that their child was in trouble until they looked down to check on them.
Consumer Reports lists five products not to buy for your baby, including the baby slings. Other devices include the bedside and co-sleeping devices; baby bath seats; sleep positioners; and crib bumper pads.
And the consumer group reports that over the past ten years there have been at least 22 injuries associated with the popular sling-type of carriers including skull fractures and head injuries that occur when the child falls out of the sling.
In 2007, about 100,000 Infantino Infant Sing Carriers were recalled by the CPSC due to a fall hazard.
The agency said the plastic slider on the fabric strap had the potential to break causing the carrier to release the infant. At that time there had been 10 reports of plastic sliders breaking and injuring eight babies, including a fractured skull.
Many parents report they prefer a baby harness that allows the infant to sleep upright with their head and stomach resting on the adult. #