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Baby Slings and Sling Carrier Recalls

Sling-style baby carriers or wraps have become popular because they allow parents to carry their baby close while keeping their hands free. A baby sling consists of cloth and is slung around the adult's shoulder like a giant handbag. As practical and convenient as these slings can be, they pose a serious fall hazard for the child.

Not surprisingly, baby slings and carriers require enormous trust in the quality of the design and manufacturing process. This article will discuss why these products cause a health risk for babies. It will also explain what to do if your child gets hurt in a sling or carrier.

Debate Over Baby Sling Safety

Baby slings have come under fire in recent years for causing suffocation fatalities and dozens of injuries. Still, experts remain divided on whether the slings and carriers are safe.

Some groups claim the slings are safe if parents and caregivers use common sense. These groups also provide practical tips to prevent suffocation or injury.

At the same time, Consumer Reports advises against the use of the slings altogether. They point out plenty of safer options, such as front-mount soft baby carriers, hip carriers, backpack carriers, and strollers.

The Dangers of Baby Slings

In 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a warning that newborns who can't control their heads can suffocate when the sling's soft fabric presses against their nose and mouth.

Babies are also at risk if the sling cradles them into a curling position. Bending the chin toward the chest constricts the airway and limits the baby's oxygen supply. This can also lead to infant deaths.

Another risk is that the sling fasteners fail to hold the baby's weight, and the child falls to the ground. Many slings have failed due to the bending or breaking of aluminum or plastic rings. Dozens of babies have suffered skull fractures, head injuries, and contusions and abrasions as a result.

Baby Sling Recalls

There have been numerous baby sling product recalls for infant carriers. Manufacturers have recalled over one million of these products in the last fifteen years.

For example, in 2010, the CPSC advised consumers to immediately stop using the Infantino SlingRider and Wendy Bellissimo infant slings. These were sold from 2003 through 2010 at retailers including Target, Babies "R" Us, and Burlington Coat Factory.

In 2023, the CPSC warned consumers to immediately stop using carriers sold as the following:

  • Biayxms sling carrier
  • Brottfor
  • Carolilly Wrap Baby
  • Musuos Wrap Baby

Many consumers bought these products in brick-and-mortar retailers such as Target. Others bought these products online at places such as Amazon. CPSC testing demonstrated that the sling carriers failed to meet federal safety standards, including the requirements for structural integrity and occupant retention.

Other sling carriers recalled due to a fall hazard include the Infantino baby carriers listed below:

  • Go Forward 4-in-1 Evolved Ergonomic Carrier
  • Flip Front2back Carrier
  • Up Close Newborn Carrier

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled infant carriers and contact Infantino for instructions on how to receive a free replacement product.

Sling carriers manufactured after January 30, 2018, are subject to mandatory federal safety standards. There are also standards for soft infant and toddler carriers from ASTM International.

Tips for Safe Use of a Baby Sling

If, despite the dangers listed above, you decide to use a baby sling, here are some practical tips to help keep your baby safe:

  • Wait until your baby is a few months old before placing them into a sling. After a few months, the baby's neck muscles will have strengthened, and there will be a decreased risk of suffocation.
  • Practice using the product. Don't just buy a sling and place your baby inside. Practice first with a teddy bear or doll.
  • Ask someone to help you the first few times you test the sling. With two sets of eyes, your baby will be twice as safe.
  • Make sure your baby's back is straight and supported.
  • Check the sling regularly to ensure your baby isn't curled up with its chin tight against the chest and that nothing obstructs your baby's face.
  • Be cautious as you move about because sudden movements or bending over can cause injury to the baby.
  • Please don't buy a second-hand sling because it may have been subject to a recall.
  • Register your sling so the CPSC can notify you of any manufacturer recalls.

A Product Liability Lawyer Can Help

If your baby gets hurt or dies as a result of an infant sling or carrier, you have options. Your personal injury attorney can file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer and other responsible parties.

Your attorney can base your claim on the fact that there was an unintended defect in the design. Or your case may allege a manufacturing defect. Still, other lawsuits accuse manufacturers of not warning consumers about hidden dangers. Contact a product liability attorney if you believe a baby sling has injured your child.

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