More than 1 million Infantino baby slings are being recalled in the US following the deaths of three babies who were reportedly smothered in the carriers.
A 7-week-old, a 6-day-old and a 3-month-old died last year, leading to the product being deemed unsafe for infants under four months.
Infantino are replacing the Wendy Bellissimo and SlingRider models in Canada and the US, but fears have been expressed by the American Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) about the dangers of baby slings generally.
They say there have been as many as 14 infant deaths linked to baby slings over the past twenty years.
Infant carriers such as the baby sling have become increasingly popular amongst parents who feel it keeps them close to their babies.
The fabric slings fit over the parent's shoulder and keep the child close to their chest. Previous safety concerns have been over incidences of children falling out, but now it would seem the more pressing danger is of very small babies suffocating.
When issuing the general warning over babyslings, CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum said, "We know of too many deaths in these slings and we now know the hazard scenarios for very small babies, so the time has come to alert parents and caregivers,"
"We want to empower them to make a decision that is best for the safety of their baby, while realising that slings play a role in the bonding of baby and mother in many cultures."
Fans of slings or 'baby wearing' as it is also known, believe that it is especially beneficial for newborns to be carried in this way, which is at odds with the latest safety advice.
There have also been concerns that the huddled position in which the baby is held can lead to spinal damage in the infant.
But it will be hard to convince baby sling devotees that keeping babies strapped closely to them is anything other than the safest place for their child to be.
Do you think baby slings are a safe way for a parent to keep their baby close? Or are they a dangerous fashion accessory?
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