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Baby spas are becoming a craze among parents but experts warn of its hidden risks. Among the services these spas offer are those floating neck rings babies use while in a pool of relaxing water.
Despite its appeal, members of the Swimming Teachers' Association (STA) and family group Birthlight advised against the use of floating neck rings at baby spas. Their experts said the rings could impact babies' physical, neurological and emotional development. The groups published a review of the floating neck rings, as well as water safety in baby spas on Birthlight's official site.
The report cited STA swim coach Shawn Tomlinson's assessment that the rings incapacitated babies. "There are no safe boundaries [for babies] to touch or feel," he said, as per Huffington Post.
The babies' prolonged vertical position in the water, with the neck ring as the sole support in the hydrotherapy, could also strain their soft muscles, ligaments and vertebrae, according to Birthlight's Françoise Freedman. It could, in turn, affect their ability to turn or roll on their backs.
The spa encourages floating neck rings for babies as young as three to five months. At this age, the babies' bones are not strong enough to withstand such as position as shown in the photo below.
Baby spa’s popularity is booming in Australia and other countries in Europe. It has yet to reach American family consumers. Aside from the floating neck rings, babies are also given massages to supposedly help with behavioral stimulation as well as digestive circulation, as per Babble.
Experts noted the spa appeals to parents because of the many social media photos showing babies looking serene and calm while having their spa treatments. Expert reminded parents to still consider the potential risks despite the seemingly harmless perks.
What can you see about this emerging trend? Would you consider enlisting your babies in a baby spa? We’d love to hear your thoughts, so sound off in the comments section below.