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Major Investigation Into Baby Slings Prompts Another Recall

Posted by Jane Akre
Thursday, June 03, 2010 10:45 AM EST
Category: Protecting Your Family
Tags: Baby Slings, Children's Health, Consumer Product Safety Commission, CPSC, Infantino, Sprout Stuff, Suffocation

Sprout Stuff Sling


IMAGE SOURCE: CPSC Web site Sprout Stuff Sling

Sling Warning

The death of a ten-day-old baby boy in Texas in 2007 is prompting the government to issue its latest recall of a defective infant sling.

Made by Sprout Stuff in Austin, Texas, the company sold the infant ring slings directly to consumers between October 2006 and May 2007. The company is now trying to contact all of the buyers who bought its Sprout Stuff sling.

Consumers can contact them at 877-319-3103.

The sling is made of a natural muslin cloth that threads through a ring. The label with Sprout Stuff is printed on a back hem. The sling comes with or without a shoulder pad.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) advises consumers to stop using the defective slings due to a risk of suffocation.

Warning About The Use of Baby Slings

Slings in general were noted for 13 deaths associated with sling-style carriers that allow a parent to hold a baby in a prone or “C” position in a cloth that wraps around the parents’ chest.

When the infant's face is covered by fabric or he is pressed against the parent he can suffocate. An infant under four months has weak neck strength making it difficult to adjust his head back for oxygen when it is thrown forward in the "C" position.

At least 14 deaths are still being investigated among infants younger than four months who were riding in slings.


Last March, the CPSC warned that the fabric of the Infantino Sling Rider and Infantino Wendy Bellissimo models could suffocate a baby by pressing against his nose and mouth. Many of the babies who died were low birth weight twin, born prematurely or had breathing difficulties or a cold.

Why the delay in issuing this recall?

Patty Davis, spokesperson for the CPSC, tells IB News this is just the latest recall in the agency’s major investigation into slings.

“In March, we looked at the past 20 years and identified at least 14 deaths identified with sling style carriers.”

She says there could be more.

Is it fair to say parents should abandon the use of all slings?

Davis says no.

“We’re not saying that at all. What we are advising is to be cautious when using infant slings, particularly for children younger than four months of age.”

“Any time you use sling, make sure the baby is always visible to you, you can see them breathe and the face is up and not covered and is clear of any fabric and your body. Be especially cautious with children younger than 4 months. Babies that young cannot control their heads, so it’s more difficult to get out if they can’t breathe” Davis says.

*UPDATE - In an update, Davis says the agency didn't find an alleged pattern of defect in either sling. The CPSC approached the companies with the information its scientists had gathered about the two types of suffocation possibilities and the companies then issued voluntary recalls.- End Update

Sprout Stuff infant slings were made in the U.S. and consumers should return them to Sprout Stuff for a full refund. Their number is 877-319-3103.

Fall Hazard

Additional injuries have resulted when children fall out of the slings. In 2007, about 100,000 Infantino Infant Sing Carriers were recalled by the CPSC due to a fall hazard because 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. #

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