The CPSC has issued a warning to parents about the dangers of baby sling infant carriers. The sack shaped slings can cause a risk of suffocation, especially in very small infants. The warning does not single out any particular makers of slings, but was prompted by 14 deaths the CPSC has identified as associated with baby slings over the last 20 years, including three in 2009.
“We know of too many deaths in these slings and we now know the hazard scenarios for very small babies,” said CPSC Chairwoman Inez Tenenbaum. “So, the time has come to alert parents and caregivers." According to Consumer Reports, in 2009, at least two infants suffocated in baby slings manufactured by Infantino of San Diego, California. In both cases, the mothers were unaware that their infants were in trouble until they looked into the sling to check on them.
The Consumer Reports Safety Blog placed the slings on their April 2009 "Five products not to buy for your baby" list. The Safety Blog wrote that, "No safety standards exist for slings. We think you should skip the sling and opt for other types of infant carriers, which have safer track records." Other products on the list include: crib bumpers, sleep positioners, baby bath seats, and bedside and other co-sleeping devices.
As far back as 2007, the CPSC issued a recall on the Infantino SlingRider baby sling due to the risk of the straps breaking. The recall was issued after the company received eight reports of children falling out of the slings. One of the infants suffered a fractured skull.