Baby slings recalled after suffocation warnings

Infantino’s SlingRider has been recalled in the UK after being linked to the death of three babies in America last year…

A horizontal, bag-style baby sling that has been linked to three deaths in the US has now been recalled across Britain after recent warnings to parents over suffocation dangers.

Most baby carriers strap the infant to the adult’s body in an upright position with the head fully exposed, but some slings, such as Infantino’s SlingRider, carry the baby curled horizontally against the body.

The so-called ‘yummy mummy‘ slings have been made popular by celebrities such as Nicole Kidman, Myleene Klass and Brad Pitt, who praise them for being a natural way to carry a baby, based on the notion that the warmth and closeness to the parent’s heartbeat creates a feeling of security.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is investigating the deaths of three babies in 2009, thought to have suffocated in the SlingRider last year. Young babies who cannot control the movement of their heads can suffocate in two minutes if the fabric of these slings blocks their nose and mouth, the US consumer watchdog has warned.

‘The baby will not be able to cry for help and can slowly suffocate,’ the CPSC said. ‘Make sure the infant’s face is not covered and is visible at all times to the sling’s wearer.’
However, baby experts and breast-feeding advocates insist that not all slings are dangerous. They say carriers that keep a newborn baby solidly against the mother’s body in an upright position are safe.

Pam Prentice, of the Child Accident Prevention Trust, said: ‘We are aware that with children who are weak or have a respiratory problem there could be problems. There is an issue for air-flow within slings. But we do not want to scare parents who are using them properly.’


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