January 24, 2002
SafetyAlerts Registrant Warning:
Infant Bath Seat
- SafetyAlerts has received a Safety Warning from one
of our registrants who feels we should again remind all of our registrants
about this issue.
Hi there... please, oh please,
include a warning about the Safety First bath seat that's killed so many
children. There are many news stories available about this if you want
verification of the danger. Thank you, MW.
The SafetyAlerts Registrant went
on to describe her personal relationship with this product type in a
She placed her six month old son in a baby bath seat. She got into the tub
to bath with him, as was her usual practice. While she was bathing him the
suction cups on the seat released and her son tipped over. Because she was in the
tub at the time she was able to catch him before he went under water. MW
As of May, 2001 the CPSC has
reported that seventy-eight babies have drowned while using baby bath seats
over the last two decades. The recent enforcement history of
this issue shows an increasing awareness of the problem and a sensitivity to
the inadequacy of warnings placed on the product to prevent caregiver
A decision in June 15,
1994 by the CPSC held that the product risk associated with baby bath seats
had to do with parental neglect and not the design of the product,
On August 22, 2000 the CPSC received a petition
to ban the sale of baby bath seats
On May 30, 2001 the CPSC released a
formal statement initiating an investigation with the purpose of declaring a
new set of rules for baby bath seats (click here). This statement provides
the most recent statistics surrounding this issue and contains consenting and
dissenting opinions on the new CPSC enforcement focus.
In an effort to illustrate how this type of tragedy can occur two incidents
have been summarized from police and medical documents. The similar circumstances
surrounding these cases should be noted. In these and other cases the baby
was left in the bath seat unattended and died as a result of drowning. Even
though the products have warnings to not leave a child beyond an arms length
of distance, caregivers continue to leave children unattended in these
products. The result is disastrous and in the two examples that will follow
an older sibling was present in the bath when baby fell into the water. The
two summaries that follow are graphics accounts by SafetyAlerts of this problem.
In 1997, in Michigan, a father was bathing his two children, an eleven month
old girl and thirty month old boy. The girl was in a bath seat when the
father left the room, a practice that both parents engaged in according to
the surviving boy. When the father returned he found the girl floating in
the water. The son said that his sister ?can not swim?. The boy stated that when she got out
of the seat into the water she ?dreamed?. The girl died from this near
drowning experience some time later. The product had explicit warnings in
three languages stating that a child is not to be left alone in the product.
In 1997, in Bronx, New York a mother gave her two boys a bath, (ages six
months and twenty four months). The report states that she placed them in
the tub, the younger boy in the bath seat, she turned on the water and
stopped the drain with a sock. She then went into the kitchen where she
prepared plantains (about 3-4 minutes). When she started to cook the
older boy came into the kitchen undressed and wet. The mother took him back
to the bath tub and found the baby face down in the water still in the seat.
The seat?s rear suction cups came loose and allowing the chair to flip
forward forcing the baby under water. The baby died at the hospital some time
later from injuries resulting from the near drowning. The mother said she
was aware of the warning to not leave the child unattended.
American Academy of Pediatrics
Report on Baby Bath Seats, (click here).