WASHINGTON, D.C. (WXIN) — Consumer protection advocates are sounding the alarm about infant location rings that have been associated with death and serious injury.
On Tuesday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning about the risk of drowning with LUMI and MINI infant floating rings sold by Otteroo. The warning also applies to discontinued models of Otteroo infant floatation rings.
These rings are designed to fit around the neck of an infant. The rings are currently sold exclusively on www.otteroo.com. They were previously sold on Zulily.com and Amazon.com.
The warning comes after CPSC evaluation found that the floating rings can deflate during use or storage. So far, the CPSC is aware of 68 incidents in which infants slipped through the head opening of the floatation ring, requiring immediate rescue. This includes one case in 2020 that required emergency treatment.
In a SaferProducts.gov report, a healthcare professional reported that an infant was left alone in a bathtub with a baby floatation device on him. When the caregiver returned, they found him submerged in the water.
CPR was performed before the boy was transported to the hospital. There he was intubated and required a treatment to circulate blood through an artificial lung back into his bloodstream.
While that boy survived, the CPSC is aware of another case that resulted in a 6-month-old girl’s death. In a SaferProducts.gov report, a police department representative reported that the girl was left in a bathtub with a LUMI floatation ring around her neck. She slipped out and drowned.
“New parents are bombarded with advertising claiming that baby products of all kinds will make their lives easier and keep their babies safe,” said CPSC commissioner Richard Trumka. “Parents should know that CPSC does not evaluate those claims, which are often misleading. Neck-floaties for babies are not recommended for water therapy, and are especially dangerous for babies with special needs.”
The CPSC urges people not to buy the Otteroo infant floatation rings. If they have one, they shouldn’t use it. They should throw it away immediately.
The CPSC also says people shouldn’t resell or donate the infant floatation rings so other infants are not put in danger by the hazard. They should report any incidents with the Otteroo infant floatation rings to www.SaferProducts.gov.