At some point this summer, you may have seen pictures of babies in pools with inflatable neck floats on your Instagram feed. Maybe you’ve even tried one yourself. Recently, pictures and videos from a baby spa in Australia have gone viral, making the mini flotation devices seem all the more perfect for baby – right?
Perhaps not. Pediatricians are starting to warn parents that these cute inflatable contraptions can be more dangerous than meets the eye. Because an air-filled float can deflate while baby is in it, there’s a huge risk of drowning, says Kyran Quinlan, 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.
“Neck floats for babies scare me to death, and I hope they scare parents,” he tells Good Housekeeping. “These are potential death traps … To have your precious baby one poorly sealed seam away from going under at the pool is frightening.”
This warning goes hand-in-hand with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ official stance on air-filled flotation devices and swimming aids like inflatable armbands. They caution parents not to use these inflatable aids instead of personal flotation devices like life jackets, saying: “These aids can deflate…