Grieving Moms Go Public Over Infant Sling Deaths

SlingRider in useAnthoinette Medley was happy to carry her twin boys close to her chest in matching SlingRider baby carriers. That is, until the day the slings took the life of one of her sons.

When her sons were only 7 weeks old, Medley opened her slings to discover that one of her sons was not breathing. Now, 13 months after her son’s death, she has a small victory against the company that created the sling. Infantino L.L.C., the company that makes the SlingRider infant sling has issued a recall of a million of their slings sold at Wal-Mart, Target, and Babies R Us. Unfortunately, the recall comes too late for the infants that died.

Lisa Cochran feels the same way. During a trip to Costco last May she used the SlingRider to tote her son Derrik from the store to her car. But something was amiss when she reached the car, she said.

“He was not the right color. He was yellow. He had purple spots from where the sling rubbed marks on his face,” said the distraught mom said.

While she called 911 her fiancé, Jerrid Fowler, administered CPR. When paramedics arrived they too tried to revive the infant to no avail.

“By the time I got to the hospital, they told me they weren’t able to save him,” she said.

Lisa filed a lawsuit in January, asking for millions of dollars in damages and alleging that Infantino was negligent and liable for her son’s May 7, 2009, death. The death certificate cited compression asphyxia/suffocation as Derrik’s cause of death.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says there have been only 14 sling related deaths in the last 20 years, most of them in infants with weak neck muscles or with breathing problems. Three of those deaths were in Infantino slings. The company has offered a voluntary replacement program for parents using the carriers. They have also begun working with the CPSC to develop standards that would make them safer to use.

Parents who have an Infantino sling should stop using it immediately and contact the company at 1-866-860-1361 between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday -Friday. – Summer, staff writer

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About the author


Summer is a mom of three, living life in the slow lane along historic Route 66. She writes, homeschools, gardens, and is still trying to learn how to knit.


  • I’ll bet my life that the baby that died was the one stuck between his mother and his twin brother. Who in their right mind would think that wearing TWO slings would be safe?!?!?

  • I am currently 8 months pregnant and had bought the Infantino SlingRider a few months ago thinking that it would be a wonderful way to carry my baby, feel him close to me and keep my hands free while out in public. I got home with the sling and tried it on but decided that I hated the way it felt around my neck and didn’t like the fact that the strap doesn’t adjust very much. I took the sling back to the store I bought it from and not even a week later I was surfing the web when I found the notice about the recall of this sling and the reason why. Now I am even more relieved that I took this sling back and cannot help but think of the possibility that my husband and I might have one day experienced such a tragedy as this. My heart goes out to the families that have lost a child due to using this sling and I am glad to see that a recall has finally been issued to pull them off the shelves.

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