Parents and caregivers are being warned not to use the LUMI and MINI infant flotation rings sold by Otteroo Corporation.
An evaluation of the devices by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found they can deflate during use or storage. As a result, the child occupant may slide out of the product into the water, leading to serious injury or death.
A a six-month old infant died by drowning in 2020 in Maine after slipping through an Otteroo infant flotation ring.
In a separate incident in New York in 2020, a three-month old infant was seriously injured.
Several devices pose concern
At issue are the LUMI and MINI infant flotation rings sold nationwide since January 2014, and discontinued models of infant flotation rings: the Version 1, sold from 2014 to 2015, and the Version 2, sold from 2015 to 2018.
According to CPSC, there have been 68 incidents where infants slipped through the head opening of the flotation ring and required immediate rescue.
CPSC is urging consumers not to buy the Otteroo infant flotation rings, and advises those who own one to stop using it and dispose of it immediately.
Additionally, consumers should NOT resell or donate the Otteroo infant flotation rings to avoid putting other infants in danger by the hazard.
Pushback from Otteroo
Otteroo has taken issue with the CPSC warning.
It claims the neck floats come with thorough safety instructions and warnings which -- if followed -- will ensure safe use.
Otteroo also says the warnings make it clear that neck floats are meant to be used under close and constant adult supervision.
And it contends there are inconsistencies and limited evidence concerning whether the neck floats were directly responsible.
The firm has refused to agree to CPSC’s request for an acceptable recall.