Expert slams popular baby neck flotation devices as 'potential death traps'

Baby neck floats are all the rage this summer -- you've probably seen them popping up in viral videos about posh baby spas and perhaps even cluttering your own Instagram feed.

But one expert is warning parents that the adorable new trend might be a deadly accident just waiting to happen.

Kyran Quinlan, an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Rush University Medical Center and former chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Council on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention, told WDSU that any type of air-filled flotation device can potentially pop or deflate during use, immediately putting kids at risk of drowning.

"Neck floats for babies scare me to death, and I hope they scare parents," Quinlan told the station. "These are potential death traps ... To have your precious baby one poorly sealed seam away from going under at the pool is frightening."

Echoing Quinlan's statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) cautions parents against using any type of air-filled swimming aids -- including the ever popular "water wings" -- because even mild deflation takes away their buoyancy.

Just this year, Otteroo had to recall 3,000 of their baby neck floatation devices after 54 cases of broken seams were reported.


Photo: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

So, what do experts recommend to keep your children as safe as possible while swimming at a young age?

Unsurprisingly, the AAP says families with young babies can safely enjoy water activities together by staying in direct contact with their infants at all times and avoiding all distractions.

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