Sunday, March 28, 2010
Infantino Sling Rider Recalled . . . Finally!!!
Y'all may have already heard about this (been trying to blog about it for days but my internet connection is still in and out). After being told by some babywearing 'experts' for years Infantino has finally recalled their "bag" style sling, the SlingRider, on Wed (3.24). The video above is from our 'local' fox station. It is an excellent report giving good accurate information, plus Ann Marie is wearing a Kozy . . . gotta love it!!
Anyway, it was a voluntary recall, and probably as a result of the CPSC's warning about slings. Here is information from Infantion about their recall http://service.infantino.com/SlingRider.pdf Here is a statement from Infantino. Apparently, they are replacing it with their mei tai (yes you read that right) or another baby product. Their mei tai doesn't look bad actually (haven't tried it, but it 'looks' ok) though on their site they say they have been working with 'babywearing experts' for 15 yrs . . . kind of curious who those experts are, LOL!! (as I am sure there are experts I don't know ;0) But anyway, they do have a link to The Babywear, which is excellent. And bringing Mei Tais (even if they were inspired by those of us who made them 'popular') to the mainstream is a GOOD thing . . . so I digress . . .
As I explained in my previous post about Babywearing Safety the issue is with 'bag' style slings specifically, not all slings in general. Information on how the design is flawed, as well as some O2 studies done with the SlingRider specifically, can be found HERE
While the recall is wonderful, and it is long overdue, it brings with it, yet again, issues surrounding sling safety in general. Not all news stations or papers are reporting as accurately as the one above and people are getting confused and slings are bring misrepresented. I have heard from vendors who have been contacted by distributors about 'nationwide recalls of all slings' and people are still getting hounded by strangers about their slings being recalled and dangerous! It is impacting business, not to mention the overall view of babywearing. It is insane!!
Though Kimber (creator of the Ball Baby Mei Tai) who is working on the upcoming Babywearing Conference (at which I am teaching and amazingly the key note speaker . . . go figure, LOL) gave me a new perspective. Apparently the conference and babywearing in general is getting more exposure and if we can turn things around it may end up being a positive thing afte rall (God works like that sometimes ;0)
We need to keep doing our best to educate the public about not just babywearing but the safety of slings in general. They are IMO safer than most baby products. I was reading a mainstream baby magazine the other day (maybe Parents?) which listed that there were 14,000 injuries from strollers last year!! In comparison, we are talking about 14 infant deaths from slings in 20 YEARS!! Don't get me wrong, any death is horribly, horribly tragic, and to that parent that lost a child it is the most profound thing in the world. But if we put it in perspective as to overall safety and risk . . . well geez, 14 deaths in 20 yrs is not enough to label something as 'dangerous'. And for baby products (think cribs, car seats, strollers, walkers, even toys) those are not bad odds (is that horrible to say, even if it is true?). If you take out things like user error and poorly designed products (like the SlingRider) our numbers would probably be closer to 0 in 20 yrs. Life itself is full of much greater risks. I mean shoot, in 1999, 64 people were killed by lightening!! There is an interesting 'death chart' HERE Including things like how many people die from falling, or drowning, or exposure to hot tap water! Kind of makes you wary of simply waking up every morning.
On another kind of interesting note . . . on Wed the term 'baby sling' was one of the most searched on the yahoo website (or something like that). So Charlie noticed and clicked around and ended up on the Wikipedia "Baby Sling" page. Imagine his surprise when he saw, at the top of the page, a picture of HIMSELF, wearing Arah in a Maya Wrap ring sling (if I remember right, that is what it looks like) at the 1st Babywearing Conference in Portland in 06!! Too much!! It is the first picture on the right.