A drowning hazard is associated with the use of infant bath seats and bath rings. In Canada, since 1983, the use of these products has been linked to the drowning deaths of at least 12 babies. It has also been linked to at least 23 near-miss drownings.

Infant bath seats and bath rings are made to hold babies in a sitting position in the bathtub. The products usually have a plastic seat or ring to support the baby. Suction cups are often used to hold the seat or ring in place on the bottom of the bathtub. Some models use an arm that attaches the seat to the side of the bathtub.

These products are NOT SAFETY DEVICES, but they give caregivers a false sense of security. Babies seem well supported and safe in the products. This results in a caregiver leaving the baby alone in the bathtub for only seconds, or leaving the baby in the care of an older child. The reality is that it takes only seconds for a baby to drown, even in shallow water. A caregiver will not hear a baby struggle; babies drown silently.

Babies in infant bath seats or bath rings have drowned when:

  • the suction cups became loose and the seat tipped over;
  • the baby slipped through a leg opening of the seat; or
  • the baby tried to climb out of the seat.

No matter what model of infant bath seat or bath ring is used, a baby in the product must be carefully supervised and within arm’s reach AT ALL TIMES.

What you can do

  • Carefully watch young children in the bath at all times. Always keep them in sight and within arm’s reach.
  • When bathing a young child, if you have to leave the room for any reason, ALWAYS TAKE YOUR CHILD WITH YOU.
  • Never leave a young child in the bath under the care of an older child.
  • If you choose to use an infant bath seat or bath ring, know that THE PRODUCT WILL NEVER KEEP AN UNSUPERVISED BABY SAFE, even for a few seconds. Keep your baby in sight and within arm’s reach AT ALL TIMES.
  • If you choose to use an infant bath seat or bath ring, know that these products should never be used with a baby that is unable to sit up on their own, and they should no longer be used once a baby can pull themselves up to a standing position.
  • An infant bath seat or bath ring should be checked before each use for signs of damage or wear. Do not use a damaged or worn product.

Consumer Product Safety,
Health Canada

Tel.: 1-866-662-0666