More than 1M baby slings recalled after reported deaths - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

More than 1M baby slings recalled after reported deaths

Washington -

(NBC) – Baby slings are a new parent staple. The baby is snuggled close,  allowing mom or dad freedom to move around.

 "It's good for them. It comforts them, um, it's been shown to lower their blood pressure and calm them down. And it's just nice to have them close," mom Amanda Schindler said.

If babies become trapped inside the slings in the wrong position, they can suffocate. Fourteen infants have died while using slings over the past two decades.

The problem occurs when the fabric covers the baby's nose and mouth,  or when young babies are cradled in a curved position. Infants under 4 months old don't have strong neck muscles. Their heads can flop forward, restricting their ability to breathe.

"So if they get into a situation where they can't breathe, they can't get themselves out of it," said Consumer Product Safety Commission spokeswoman Patty Davis.

Sling maker Infantino has voluntarily recalled 1 million "SlingRider" and "Wendy Bellissimo" sling models in the U.S. Three infant deaths last year were linked to the Infantino slings.

In a statement, the Infantino company says: "safety is our number one concern and today's announcement of a free replacement program reflects this commitment."

"It's important to cut the strap and send a portion of it back to Infantino," said Davis. "Don't sell this Infantino SlingRider at your garage sale."

In addition to offering replacement products for the recalled slings, Infantino says it will work with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to develop safety standards for slings.

Currently, there are no federal safety rules for the baby carriers.

Copyright 2010 NBC. All rights reserved.

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