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Why the CPSC Is Asking Parents to Stop Using Otteroo Baby Neck Floats

The warning renews concerns shared by the FDA and AAP around the safety of the floatation devices.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Updated November 22, 2022
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Image: BearFotos | Shutterstock

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released a new statement today asking parents to stop using Otteroo baby neck floats and throw away the dangerous devices.

Introduced as a fun and functional water accessory, baby neck floats are designed to support baby’s head so they can float freely in the water. However, Otteroo’s current LUMI and MINI infant floatation rings, along with the discontinued earlier models, have been implicated multiple times over the past few years in water emergencies and one infant death.

Overall, The CPSC is aware of 68 incidents where infants slipped through the head opening of the flotation ring and required immediate rescue by a caregiver. Despite these safety issues, Otteroo has refused to agree to the CPSC’s request for a recall and continues to manufacture the floatation devices.

This isn’t the first time baby neck floats have been featured in the news lately. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have pointed out the dangers of baby neck floats for years now. Commonly used in pools and at bathtime, over the past few years, the device has even been marketed to help with water therapy, especially among babies with special needs or disabilities.

But these claims couldn’t be further from the truth, the FDA says. “The safety and effectiveness of neck floats to build strength, to promote motor development or as a physical therapy tool, have not been established.” They also pose a great risk to babies and their caregivers who may believe their child to be safe and supported.

For years the AAP has been against the use of floaties in any capacity. The organization has stated in its pool safety guidelines that “Inflatable swimming aids such as floaties are not a substitute for approved life jackets and can give children and parents a false sense of security.” Instead, the AAP recommends that whenever a child under five is in the pool, an adult should be within arm’s length, providing “touch supervision.”

For more on approved devices and products to keep your child safe, check out these pool safety tips sourced from Bump parents or read more about summer safety here.

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