Austin-Made Baby Slings Recalled After Death Of Round Rock Infant

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

The death of a 10-day-old Round Rock boy has prompted the recall of some baby slings made by an Austin company.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission urged parents on Wednesday to immediately stop using the infant slings from Sprout Stuff, saying the slings pose a suffocation risk.

The boy, who died in Round Rock in 2007, was killed by "positional asphyxiation," said Patty Davis, a spokeswoman for the federal safety commission. She did not have information about the boy's identity.

The cause of death means that the baby was held in a position that cut off his breath, said Sarah Scott, a chief administrative officer for the Travis County medical examiner's office.

About 40 of the Sprout Stuff infant ring slings were sold directly to consumers between October 2006 and May 2007. They are made of cloth that threads through a ring. "Sprout Stuff" is printed on the back side of the tail's hem.

Information was not available Wednesday about the location of Sprout Stuff in Austin. The business did not have a website, and an inquiry by e-mail was not answered.

Commission Chairman Inez Tenenbaum has previously warned of a suffocation risk for babies in slings, which wrap around parents' chests so they can carry their babies or just "wear" them to stay close.

The agency has investigated at least 13 deaths associated with sling-style infant carriers over the past 20 years, including the Round Rock boy's. One other fatality is still being investigated. Twelve of the deaths involved babies younger than 4 months.

In its general sling warning in March, the safety commission said a sling's fabric can press against a baby's nose and mouth, suffocating a baby within a minute or two. Another danger involves slings where the baby is cradled in a curved or "C-like" position that can cause a baby to flop its head forward, chin-to-chest, restricting its ability to breathe.

Also in March, more than 1 million baby slings made by Infantino were recalled after claims linking them to three infant deaths.

Sprout Stuff is trying to contact people who bought its ring slings. Consumers can contact Sprout Stuff at 877-319-3103 to return the sling for a full refund.

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