March 24, 2010
One Million Infantino Baby Slings Recalled

Feds: The Sling Rider and Wendy Bellissimo Could Pose Suffocation Hazards

Baby slings made by Infantion being recalled due to possible safety hazards (CBS)

(CBS) The popularity of baby slings has been on the rise over the past four years.

But, reports "Early Show" Consumer Correspondent Susan Koeppen, the Consumer Product Safety Commission says two slings are considered so dangerous they're being pulled from the market, and parents are being told to stop using them.

Earlier this month, "The Early Show" broke the news that federal regulators were warning of possible suffocation hazards posed by baby slings -- which parents put around their necks and carry their babies in.

Now, the CPSC has announced the voluntary recall of one million slings made by Infantino.

The Sling Rider and the Wendy Bellissimo are being pulled because they pose a suffocation risk, Koeppen says.

Asked by Koeppen how quickly a child could suffocate in "one these slings," CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum responded, "In a matter of minutes."

Tenenbaum says three children died in Infantino slings last year alone.

"You might have your baby in a sling next to you and not notice that the baby has gone into (a) position (in which he or she) cannot breathe" until it's too late, Tenenbaum added.

That, notes Koeppen, is exactly what happened to seven-day-old Derrik Fowler during a shopping trip with his mother, Lisa Cochran.

She'd been carrying her newborn in a sling made by Infantino. "By the time I got to the car and pulled him out of the sling to put him in his car seat, he was no longer of normal color," Cochran recalls.

Infants younger than four months are at greatest risk in slings, Koeppen points out, because their weak neck muscles mean they have no head control. An infant can curl into a "C"-shape, with the chin falling into the chest -- restricting the baby's airway.