NEWS

Are Bath Flotation Rings Safe For Babies?

Images of the Otteroo LUMI and Otteroo MINI
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns parents not to use the Otteroo LUMI and Otteroo MINI bath floats.

Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)

Key Takeaways

  • The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning parents about the risk of drowning while using LUMI and MINI infant floatation rings made by Otteroo.
  • Otteroo stands behind its products and refused to agree to CPSC’s request for recall.
  • Infant flotation rings are not a replacement for watchful supervision and infants should be monitored at all times while in water.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning parents about the risk of drowning while baby is in LUMI and MINI infant floatation rings made by the Otteroo Corporation. They say they should stop being used "immediately." The CPSC took this step after the death of an infant while using the flotation ring. The warning came after a close evaluation of the product.

"As a team of fellow mothers, we are deeply saddened to hear of the two incidents mentioned in the CPSC press release," says Tiffany Chiu, the founder of Otteroo, in a statement posted on the company's website. "No parent should ever have to go through what they experienced."

Still, the company is standing by its product. The CPSC says Otteroo is refusing to agree to a formal recall.

"We believe the CPSC is wrong—when used with proper care and attention, Otteroo is perfectly safe, and it is well-understood that infants should not be left unattended when in or near water (Otteroo or not)," Chiu's statement says.

This warning may have parents wondering what to do if they have an Otteroo infant flotation ring or another similar product. We spoke with experts to help guide you through those decisions.

CPSC Warns Parents About Otteroo Infant Floatation Rings

The specific models the CPSC is warning parents about are the MINI and LUMI. These are clear, inflatable flotation rings designed for an infant to keep their heads above water. In the warning, the CPSC described what parents should check for.

“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," the CPSC says in a statement.

The CPSC started its investigation in 2020. That's when a 6-month-old infant died by drowning and another was seriously injured after slipping through an Otteroo infant flotation ring. The CPSC found the brand's infant flotation rings can deflate during use or storage, causing the child occupant to slide out of the product into the water. Additionally, there have been 68 incidents where infants slipped through the head opening of the flotation ring and required immediate rescue.

"We still stand behind the extensive steps we have taken to ensure parents understand the drowning risk anytime a baby is in the water and the inherent risk of deflation for any inflatable," Chiu's statement continues. "We ask parents to acknowledge, during the purchasing process, that they must always be with their infants when using Otteroo, and to check for leaks and fit prior to each use."

Dr. Mona Amin, MD, known as Dr. Mona, a board-certified pediatrician and founder of the website Peds Doc Talk says these warnings should not be taken lightly.

"If the Consumer Product Safety Commission is releasing a warning they are doing so for a reason," Dr. Mona says. "When there is a product on the market causing any injury or loss of life for a child, they will investigate it and recommend removal of said product or a warning."

What Should I Do If I Have An Otteroo Flotation Ring?

Infant bath rings have become popular for both bathtime and for pools in the summer. Otteroo says its goal with its products is to enhance infants' experiences in the water. "Since day one, my mission for Otteroo has been to bring joy and a love of water to as many babies as possible. We’ve sold over 400,000 Otteroos, and they have been used safely millions of times," says Chiu's statement.

The CPSC says if you own either the LUMI or MINI models of Otterroo flotation rings, to immediately throw them away. They also urge consumers NOT to resell or donate the Otteroo infant flotation rings so no other babies are put at risk.

These rings are currently sold exclusively on Otteroo's website but were previously sold on both Zulily and Amazon. Version 1, was sold from 2014 to 2015, and Version 2 was sold from 2015 to 2018.

The CPSC says it couldn't issue a recall for the LUMI and MINI Otterroo products because the company refused to agree to CPSC’s request for one. On the other side, Chiu says the CPSC isn't speaking with them to try to reach some sort of compromise.

"I want to emphasize that we are doing everything in our power to have a dialogue with CPSC so we can address their concerns, which they have refused thus far," Chiu says in her statement.

Are Infant Flotation Rings Dangerous?

This warning has many parents asking if infant flotation products should be used at all. Otteroo maintains its floats, when used with proper attention and care, are completely safe. But in July of 2022, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also issued a warning not to use baby neck floats. The FDA said using them could cause serious injury or death, especially for those babies with developmental delays or special needs.

Dr. Mona says there is a risk involved and it's ultimately up to parents to make that decision based on their comfort level. "Parents should understand the risk. It’s the job of the parent to look at benefit versus risk," Dr. Mona says. "The unthinkable happens when we don’t expect it."

Parents should understand the risk. It’s the job of the parent to look at benefit versus risk. The unthinkable happens when we don’t expect it.

MONA AMIN, MD

Infant flotation rings like these are sometimes used or recommended by physical therapists for movement therapy, although they should be used with 100% of attention on the child. "A concern would be home use or any use where observation is not 100% happening (this means eyes on the child at all times)," Dr. Mona adds. "Besides that, neck irritation is a reality to be monitored hence why it's important to consider passing on these."

It is important to reevaluate the use of these rings to decide if they are right to use for your family.

What This Means For You

The Consumer Product Safety Commission urges consumers to immediately stop using and throw away certain Otteroo infant flotation devices due to the drowning hazard. Otteroo though is standing by its product.


As a parent, weighing these risks is up to you and what you think is best for your child. It is important to note that experts say there is a risk attached to using infant floatation products, and all inflatables pose a risk without 100% supervision.

3 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Consumer Product Safety Commission. CPSC Warning: Stop Using Otteroo LUMI and MINI Infant Flotation Rings Due to Drowning Hazard; One Infant Death Reported.

  2. Otteroo Corporation. Otteroo Confirms LUMI and MINI Neck Floats Are Safe for Use.

  3. Food and Drug Administration. Do Not Use Baby Neck Floats Due to the Risk of Death or Injury: FDA Safety Communication.

By Chelsie DeSouza
Chelsie DeSouza is a writer specializing in parenting, sharing her knowledge on all stages of motherhood. She has a 5-year-old daughter and has been writing for the last 3 years with bylines in WHYY, The Everymom, Mother Mag, and more.