Popular Baby Bather Can Lead to Infant Skull Fractures

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) (www.cpsc.org) has announced a voluntary recall of a popular infant bathing assistance product. The Mother’s Touch Deluxe Baby Bather, manufactured by Summer Infant Inc. of Woonsocket, R.I., has recently been linked to several infant head injuries.

Baby bathers are used to assist the bathing of infants who cannot yet sit or hold their heads up. The products, which can be placed in a sink or tub, allow the infant to be stabilized while bathing. Baby bathers can provide support and security for newborns, making baths safer.

Skull FractureHowever, the frames of these recalled infant bathing seats have been reported to become detached, causing the infant to fall. This can occur if the seat is carried with the infant in it. The company reports that the problem stems from the wire frame disengaging from the side hinge when the bather is carried or lifted with the weight of an infant. Once the frame is unhinged, the infant can fall out of the bather, increasing risk for head injuries.

The company is recalling more than two million of the baby bathers which were sold in the United States. The infant bather was sold in popular baby retail stores, as well as online from September 2004 to November 2011. An additional 65,000 bathers were sold in Canada during the same period.

The CPSC reports that nationwide there have been seven incidents of failure of the product. Of those, there were five reports of head injuries to infants; four were skull fractures and one was a bump to the head. The children were all infants, between the ages of two weeks and two months old.

Summer states that the infant bather carries an existing warning and instructions to, “never lift and carry an infant in the product.” It is because of this that the company is approaching the recall as an awareness program whose aim is to alert caregivers and parents about the dangers of carrying a child in the bather. Further, the company states that consumers can use the product, “safely and confidently, as intended, as a bathing aid.”

Consumers who have purchased one of the defective products and are affected by this recall should cease using the product immediately until a repair can be made. Summer is providing a no-charge repair kit to consumers. The kit includes a locking strap to lock the frame in place, as well as instructions for installation.

However, the company warns that the infant bather should never be used to transport or lift the infant, even with the repair kit strap in place.

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