Float aids have become more and more popular since the opening of baby “day spa” services across the globe. But are they safe?

In Australia ‘Baby Spa Perth’ is even offering massage and hydrotherapy services for babies that are 6 months old or younger.

Be aware of the dangers

The problem with the growing need for the service is that some manufacturers and sellers will take advantage of this need and try to recreate similar ‘cheaper’ products so parents can hold their own baby day spas at home. These products are actually very unsafe though!


A recall has been issued for baby neck floats sold by eBay Trader xianan121280.

The ACCC are warning people of the increased risk of drowning if the product isn’t used correctly or deflates during use.

The product does not comply with Consumer Protection Notice No. 3 of 2009 – Consumer Product Safety Standard: Swimming Aids and Flotation Aids for Water Familiarisation and Swimming Tuition for quality, labelling or user instruction requirements.

Banned in Australia

Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said it was crucial parents chose safe water toys and floatation devices for their children, and closely supervised kids in and around water at all times.

“Baby neck floats were originally designed as medical aids for children with disability, but have recently
proliferated as more recreational items,” Mr Bauer said.

“Unless baby neck floats are medically prescribed and professionally fitted, they can be very dangerous.

“If the float is too wide, the baby’s mouth and nose can become obstructed. If the float is too loose, the baby could slip through altogether. If the float is too tight, breathing may become laboured or the carotid artery compressed.

“There are also concerns around stability and the potential for the baby to tip over, particularly if other children are in the water creating an uneven surface.

“If, as a parent, you do choose to purchase a baby neck float, it is strongly recommended you buy one that complies with the mandatory standard, comes with comprehensive instructions on safe use, and follow those instructions closely.

OFT strongly recommends baby neck floats only be used in highly controlled and supervised settings.

“The OFT will continue to monitor the marketplace and ensure suppliers take recall action if products that fail mandatory safety standards are sold,” Mr Bauer said.

The two baby neck floats that failed to meet mandatory safety standards were sold by:
eBay trader “livingspace888″
eBay trader “xianan121280″

Any consumer who purchased a baby neck float from either trader should return the product for a refund.

Consumers can report baby neck floats being sold by Queensland businesses to the OFT by emailing safety@justice.qld.gov.au or calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

Please be careful when purchasing items online as they quite often do not meet Australian standards.

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  • The baby in the front looks scared. I don’t believe in letting a baby float with this around their neck. Plus where are the supervisors. Definitely not for me.


  • oh heck nah! i wouldn’t even be keen to use this even if i could do it safely! have a bit of respect for your child! it seems to be crude to expect anything let alone a child, to float by it’s neck like that


  • The babies in this photo certainly weren’t being supervised. Baby should be crawling or least kicking legs very strongly. If a baby or toddler goes to swimming lessons a parent has to go in the pool with them until they are 3 years old. Some are scared to suddenly go in the water with just the teacher – it is also a different teacher that they don’t know too. One of oursa was initally allowed to take one duck that he used in the bath at home until he gained confidence. Although he was supposed to be in a group sometimes the other children didn’t go and he got one-on-one with the instructor.


  • They always looked a little weird for me. But as if you wouldn’t be supervising a baby in water 100% of the time anyway.


  • Wouldn’t leave a child alone in one of these things no matter how ‘safe’ it is supposed to be.


  • Why would you want something like that that barely keeps their head afloat? I used an inflatable ring/seat I purchased from Kmart and it worked just fine and the whole body is kept up (except the legs), but as always you can never leave a baby unattended in water- that’s just common sense.


  • I’m not a huge fan of such devices. We didn’t really use them for our son.


  • I wonder if this warning reaches the people who need to read it ?


  • Wow it is sad that parents need to be told basic things like this. But hopefully it will help to save lives.


  • they do not look safe at all – why would you even risk this for a young baby – they can drown so quickly and it only takes seconds – I hope all the products like this get recalled – we already have too many children drownings in australia why would anyone think this was suitable


  • Don’t like the look of these at all, I wouldn’t use them that’s for sure


  • I wouldn’t do it to my own child if they were babies. i guess people just like to make money and not think about the problem later down the track or really they don’t care what may happen to the babies just get their money.


  • Oh gosh, they don’t look very nice at all.


  • I’ve never used one of these on my daughter and I never would. Something about it just didn’t seem right to me. Maybe I worry too much but I’d rather hold my child in the water.


  • Would never use one at home but have used one at the baby spa. My children loved the freedom of limbs moving around.


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