Safety Alert: Dangerous Baby Slings

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After seven infant deaths, safety regulators expect to issue a warning about baby slings that parents wrap around their bodies to carry infants.

There have been at least seven recent reports of babies dying from suffocation while wrapped in these slings, according to the Associated Press, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission has said it plans to issue a warning about them.

Deaths related to certain Infantino brand baby slings include a 6-day-old boy and a 7-week-old boy, according to law firm Saiontz & Kirk in Baltimore. “In both cases, the mothers were unaware that their infants were in trouble until they looked into the sling to check on them,” the firm’s Web site says.

Baby slings have recently become very popular, especially since celebrities like Brad Pitt have been seen toting their babies with them, according to The New York Times. But parents have long been concerned about the products’ safety.

In 2007, following four reports of fall injuries including one resulting in a skull fracture, about 100,000 Infantino SlingRider Infant Carriers were recalled because plastic sliders on fabric straps could break.

Since the Infantino sling puts infants in a "C-like" position when carried, they were especially at risk of asphyxiation, according to Canoe, a Canadian news source.

As far back as 2001, there have been smaller CPSC carrier recalls due to fall hazards. In 2001 and later in 2005, Maya Wrap recalled some of its slings because support rings could break. In 2008, Ellaroo Ring Sling Baby Carrriers were recalled for the same reason, and in 2005, Zolowear recalled some of its infant slings because their stitching could break.

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