Recalled baby slings still for sale

The Infantino SlingRider was recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2010 after linking the deaths of three babies to the product. (File photo)
The Infantino SlingRider was recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2010 after linking the deaths of three babies to the product. (File photo)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — “I wish I could go back every day to the day I went shopping and never bought that.”

Those are the words Lisa Cochran, a Keizer mother whose 6-day-old son suffocated in 2009 in a baby sling, told KOIN 6 News in a 2010 interview, the same year that sling was recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Lisa Cochran and Jared Fowler pose with their newborn son, Derrik, in 2009. He died six days later after he suffocated in a baby sling. (Courtesy photo, May 2013)
Lisa Cochran and Jared Fowler pose with their newborn son, Derrik, in 2009. He died six days later after he suffocated in a baby sling. (Courtesy photo, May 2013)

She had called 911 — “I need help. My baby’s not breathing … I’m in Costco’s parking lot. Please!” — but her baby died.

The Infantino “SlingRider,” a soft fabric baby carrier with a padded shoulder strap worn by parents and caregivers to carry an infant weighing up to 20 lbs, was connected to three baby deaths by the CPSC. In 2010, they pulled them from store shelves.

But three years later, they’re still for sale.

The recalled baby sling was illegally sold at a Michigan franchise of Once Upon A Child, the nation’s largest children’s resale chain.

District manager Chris Christensen recognized the recalled slings immediately.

Christensen says employees go through up to four months of rigorous training before they can accept used items.

“They’re instructed to plug each item into the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website to check for recalls. “I am very proud of our girls. They all go through our buyer certification,” Christensen said.

When asked how someone managed to buy two recalled slings from the store, Christensen replied, “I believe that it was just an error.”

The Infantino "SlingRider," a soft fabric baby carrier with a padded shoulder strap worn by parents and caregivers to carry an infant weighing up to 20 lbs, was connected to three baby deaths by the CPSC. In 2010, they pulled them from store shelves. (CPSC photo)
The Infantino “SlingRider,” a soft fabric baby carrier with a padded shoulder strap worn by parents and caregivers to carry an infant weighing up to 20 lbs, was connected to three baby deaths by the CPSC. In 2010, they pulled them from store shelves. (CPSC photo)

KOIN 6 News checked the local outlets in Salem and Vancouver and found the slings were not for sale.

Online, though, was a different matter. KOIN 6 News investigators purchased one from a woman in Dallas, Oregon for $10.  But when she was told the product had been recalled three years ago, she was “very surprised. Very surprised.”

As a mother herself, Amber Caelf felt terrible hearing about the babies who died in the Infantino Slingrider. She said she “will definitely check to see if anything else has been recalled before I sell it, because I don’t want that to happen to somebody else’s child.”

That’s exactly what the owner of Back on the Rack in Hillsboro does before she accepts consignments from sellers. She uses the CPSC website to weed out recalled products.

“Probably the last (SlingRider) I saw was maybe two months ago,” she told KOIN 6 News, “but, yeah, they do come in quite often.”

With research and a watchful eye, those buying and selling used baby items can keep children safe — or save their lives.

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