Why Baby Neck Floats are NOT Potential Death Traps

We know, there’s been some bad rap going around on infant neck floats, mostly instigated by journalists who are quick to make the wrong assumptions; and supported by various experts who have all the best intentions of warning parents about general water safety – but when quoted-edited, sound as if they are in a panic about the use of a neck floatie.

We get it; when you only read certain headlines that got regurgitated through the pipes, baby neck floats can sound like pure evil! But it’s far from it – just read the inspiring stories by Otteroo Moms in the What People Say section.

Let us set the record straight on why baby neck floats are NOT a death trap and are not dangerous – unless you make it one.

1. It’s NOT a baby-sitter

One thing is for sure, we never, ever, eeeeeever want you to put your baby in the Otteroo and walk away. What the doctors, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reps, and “experts” are really saying is, “It is a death trap if parents are not watching the baby at all and something happens to the (fill in the blank with pretty much every object in the world).” Let’s spell this out – not for you because we know you know – that a baby neck float is not a bath time babysitter!

In fact, the majority of parents tell us they love getting in the tub or pool with their baby. It’s an excellent opportunity to interact and play with their lovies face-to-face, arms free. You don’t need to go into the tub with your baby each time, but you always need to BE WITHIN ARM’S DISTANCE and NEVER EVER take your eyes off your baby even for a split second (you or another responsible adult should go into the water with the baby if at a pool). In the event that something should happen, whether to the floatie or something outside your control, you’re always right there.

2. It’s NOT a life-saving device

Baby neck floaties are a bath (and pool) toy. They are intended for playing, bouncing, and making bath time fun and developmentally beneficial. That’s it. We’re not telling you to strap the Otteroo around your baby’s neck and take him or her out in a boat. And while it would’ve been awesome, the U.S. Coast Guard is not in the business of reviewing and approving inflatable bath toys. It seems they prefer to allocate their time testing products designed to save lives – and making sure they fulfill their purpose.

3. It’s NOT a swim aid

We introduce your child to water play so they can get comfortable with the water before any fear sets in. We want to help babies access the benefits of early independent mobility. It’s not going to magically speak to your baby in goo-goo ga-ga lingo and teach your child to swim. Sorry, uh, no. But, we bet that first swim class later on is going to go a lot smoother when your little one is ready for it!

Don’t worry, swim instructors! We’re not trying to take your place. AT ALL. In fact, we hope to make your job easier.

4. There’s NO neck strain

“Is that thing comfortable?” That’s the question we’re probably most often asked. We know that the Otteroo is comfortable because the smiles on babies’ faces tell us it is. Not convinced? Here is a brief explanation for those of us who slept through Physics 101. Yes, it’s comfortable and it doesn’t feel like how you would imagine it to feel with your adult body. It’s still so comfortable that Otteroo founder Tiffany Chiu has been known to sport it in the pool …

5. Quality

If you allow your baby to use a cheap/generic floatie with instructions in foreign or broken English and leave them alone in the tub … that’s a potential death trap. But if you spend a little bit more money to get the thickest plastic and the most meticulously designed floatie on the market, and you are right there with the baby – well, it’s nothing short of amazing. See for yourself!

Julie Forbes

Julie Forbes

Julie Kroenig Forbes graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. She spent the next 10 years working as a news anchor and reporter in various cities, most recently in Nashville, Tennessee. After a few years in Northern California, she now lives in New York City with her husband and four kids
Julie Forbes

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