LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has released a statement warning parents, caregivers and health care providers not to use neck floats for babies.

Neck floats are inflatable plastic rings that are worn around a baby’s neck to allow free floatation in water. Some neck floats are marketed toward babies as young as two weeks old.

The FDA says using of neck floats with babies for water therapy interventions can lead to death or serious injury, especially for babies who have developmental delays or special needs, such as spina bifida, Down syndrome or cerebral palsy.

The FDA recommends the following for parents and caregivers:

  • Do not use baby neck floats for water therapy intervention. The use of these products, especially with babies with developmental delays or special needs, can lead to death or serious injury.
  • Be aware that the use of neck floats in babies with special needs can lead to increased risk of neck strain and injury.
  • Be aware that these neck floats have not been evaluated by the FDA and we are not aware of any demonstrated benefit with the use of neck floats for water therapy interventions.
  • If a baby or individual in your care is injured by a neck float, file a report with the FDA.