Despite requests from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for a voluntary recall, a manufacturer will continue to sell infant flotation rings that have been involved in one recent death, one serious injury, and at least 68 other incidents requiring infant rescue.
According to a press release, the CPSC is warning consumers about the risk of drowning with LUMI and MINI infant flotation rings sold by Otteroo Corporation. CPSC urges consumers to immediately stop using them, as well as the discontinued models of Otteroo infant flotation rings: the Version 1, sold from 2014 to 2015, and the Version 2, sold from 2015 to 2018. The commission has found that public health and safety requires this notice to warn the public quickly of the hazard.
CPSC evaluated the Otteroo infant flotation rings and found that they can deflate during use or storage, causing the child occupant to slide out of the product into the water, which can lead to serious injury or death. One infant has died by drowning, and one infant was seriously injured after slipping through an Otteroo infant flotation ring. The death occurred in 2020 in Maine and involved a 6-month-old. The serious injury occurred in 2020 in New York and involved a 3-monthold.
CPSC is aware of 68 incidents where infants slipped through the head opening of the flotation ring and required immediate rescue by a caregiver.
The Otteroo infant flotation rings have been sold nationwide since January 2014 for between $24 and $40.
Otteroo has refused to agree to CPSC’s request for an acceptable recall.
The Otteroo infant flotation rings are currently sold exclusively on www.otteroo.com. They were previously sold on Zulily.com and Amazon.com.
The MINI and LUMI are clear, inflatable rings designed to fit around the neck of an infant. “Otteroo” is printed on the top of the rings. The rings also have an illustrated white otter with an inflatable ring around its neck. Earlier models also are inflatable rings bearing the word “otteroo” and an illustrated white otter, and they are constructed of both clear and blue plastic material.
CPSC urges consumers not to buy the Otteroo infant flotation rings. Those who already own one or purchased one should not use it due to the drowning hazard and dispose of the product immediately. Report incidents with the Otteroo infant flotation rings and any dangerous product or a product-related injury to CPSC at www.SaferProducts.gov.
CPSC urges consumers NOT to resell or donate the Otteroo infant flotation rings so other infants are not put in danger by the hazard.
Under section 6(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act, the CPSC is required to include with their press release any comments from the manufacturer or a summary thereof. Otteroo objects to the CPSC’s statements. As summarized, the firm states Otteroo neck floats come with thorough safety instructions and warnings which, if followed, will ensure safe use.
The firm states that these warnings make it clear that neck floats are meant to be used under close and constant adult supervision. The firm states that like all inflatables, Otteroo neck floats are subject to damage, including holes, which will result in deflation. Otteroo states that it instructs parents to check for air leaks before each use because deflation can pose a drowning hazard if the adult is not within arm’s reach of the baby at all times.
The firm states that while it is deeply saddened by the two events mentioned in the press release, it appears that in both incidents, the infants were left alone in the bath for an extended period of time.
The firm states that furthermore, there are inconsistencies and limited evidence concerning whether Otteroo neck floats were directly responsible.
Otteroo Infant Floatation Ring. Photo credit Motherhoodcommunity.com