Drowning is the third leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., and children under the age of five are at increased risk. Based on data from 2005-2007 in CPSC Nursery Product Reports, an average of 11 children die every year from the hazards of bath seats.
As the dangers of bath seats become evident, KID and other consumer groups across the country petitioned CPSC to ban baby bath seats, which are known to have been involved in at least 147 deaths and over 100 non-fatal incidents. CPSC now has a mandatory standard in place that will address the most common hazards of tip-over and the child slipping under water through the leg holes. There are not baths seats currently that meet the new standard. KID recommends against the use of bath seats.
Bath seats are dangerous for the following reasons:
- Children can slip out of the seats or tip forward or sideways into the water and become submerged.
- The suction cups on the bottom of a seat can detach from the tub, and the baby can tip over and become trapped underwater by the seat.
- In addition to hazards such as suction cups that can detach, bath seats give parents a false sense of security.
These products are intended as bathing aids — NOT SAFETY DEVICES. It only takes a few seconds of time and as little as one inch of water for an infant to drown. Always keep babies within arms reach while near water. Consider using a small baby bathtub within the larger bath instead – make sure the main drain stays free.
More Information on Bath Tub Seats
CPSC Votes to Begin Rulemaking to Improve the Safety of Baby Bath Seats CPSC News Release 01-163
The Role of Bathtub Seats and Rings in Infant Drowning Deaths published by The American Academy of Pediatrics.