Baby Neck Floats from Otteroo Continue to Be Sold Despite Concerns Over Safety and Past Incidents
Despite receiving safety alerts from multiple federal bodies and a report of a fatal accident involving an infant, California-based Otteroo is yet to recall its popular baby neck floats. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has received 68 incident reports concerning the product, all of which necessitated immediate intervention from caregivers.
Three years ago, a 6-month-old baby in Maine tragically lost their life after slipping through the float’s neck hole. Furthermore, another incident in New York last year led to severe injuries for a 3-month-old baby. Despite these reports, Otteroo founder Tiffany Chiu maintains that the product is safe when used under proper adult supervision. She argues that similar accidents can occur with other baby products like bath seats.
Federal agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the CPSC have both advised against the use of such neck float devices. They point out the potential risks, such as the device deflating and strangulating the infant. Despite the warnings, Otteroo remains steadfast in its position, arguing that the possibility of deflation is inherent to all inflatable devices.
Consumer Reports has spotlighted Otteroo due to its status as a leading brand and its refusal to initiate a recall. While other brands like Mambobaby and Swimava also manufacture similar products, they don’t share the same level of market prominence as Otteroo. Companies are generally reluctant to recall products without conclusive evidence of their being harmful. This, however, is a perilous stance when it comes to child safety products, argues Consumer Reports.
The rising trend of baby neck floats has also been criticized by pediatricians who label them as ‘potential death traps.’ Federal agencies go a step further, recommending that these products should not be used for babies with conditions like spina bifida, spinal muscular atrophy, Down syndrome, or cerebral palsy, as their effectiveness remains unproven.
Injuries and Fatalities That This Product Could Cause Consumers
The use of baby neck floats like those manufactured by Otteroo could lead to various types of injuries and even fatalities. Here are some of the potential risks:
- Drowning: The most severe risk is that of drowning, particularly if a child slips through the neck hole of the device and becomes submerged underwater.
- Strangulation: If the float deflates and collapses, it could tighten around the infant’s neck, leading to strangulation.
- Neck Injuries: Improper use or a defect in the device could lead to neck strain or more severe neck injuries, particularly given that an infant’s neck muscles are not fully developed.
- Psychological Trauma: Near-drowning or other frightening experiences involving the device could lead to psychological trauma for both the child and the parents.
- Asphyxiation: In the worst-case scenario, a deflated or malfunctioning float could obstruct the child’s airway, leading to asphyxiation.
- Secondary Drowning: Even if an infant is promptly rescued, they could suffer from secondary drowning, a condition where water entering the lungs can cause complications hours after the initial submersion.
- Hypothermia: Extended exposure to cold water while in the float could lead to hypothermia, especially in very young infants who are more susceptible to temperature changes.
- Chemical Exposure: If the float is made of materials that degrade or leach chemicals, there might be a risk of the child being exposed to harmful substances.
- Choking Hazards: Any detachable parts or accessories could become choking hazards if they come loose.
Given the potential for severe injuries or even death, it’s crucial for caregivers to heed the warnings of safety agencies and consider alternative means of introducing young children to water-based activities.
If your child has suffered an injury or worse due to a baby neck float, it’s crucial to take legal action as soon as possible to hold negligent manufacturers accountable. Parker Waichman LLP is a nationally recognized law firm with a proven track record of fighting for victims of defective products. We can help you understand your important legal rights and options. Don’t wait—your child’s safety and your peace of mind are too important. Contact us today at 1-800-YOURLAWYER for a free, no-obligation consultation.
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