Infant's death related to baby sling investigation
Thursday, March 25th, 2010
More than a year ago, Anthoinette Medley was walking through a mall in Center City Philadelphia, carrying her infant twin boys in two separate, over-the-shoulder baby slings. She ran into a friend, and lifted her son Nelsir out of his baby carrier to show him off.
Medley: When I removed him from the carrier I realized that he not responsive. He was very unresponsive. I freaked, dialed 911, ran down the hall frantically trying to wave anyone down for help.
Medley tried CPR and the paramedics came, but Nelsir died. Medley believes the baby sling suffocated her son.
Medley: That was my initial thought. I didn't have the evidence to prove it at that time. I didn't have the evidence to prove it. Unfortunately it took other babies to pass away to prove my theory.
Two more children died in 2009 in carriers made by the company Infantino. The company recalled two types of its baby carriers this week. Earlier this month the Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC, issued a warning about these types of slings, and started an investigation into their safety. Infantino CEO Jack Vresics said in a statement that the company is working to set safety standards for baby slings.
Vresics: We will continue to play a leadership role in the industry and to cooperate closely with the CPSC as it continues its investigation of all baby slings.
The CPSC posted pictures on its website about how to use baby sling properly.
Kathrin Brellochs, the program coordinator for the Maternity Care Coalition in Philadelphia, says her group is spreading the word to parents.
Brellochs: We sent our staff the warning along with those pictures that they issued about how to use them correctly. In general I can say that these particular slings are not as popular with our clients as for example the front carriers are, so I think there's a big difference in safety when it comes to those different kinds.
Brellochs says the suffocations happened when parents though the babies were napping, and she says parents should make sure babies don't sleep in the carriers. Mother Anthoinette Medley says she's preparing to sue Infantino over her son's death. But in the meantine she'll continue to share her experience to protect other babies.