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What are the dangers of vibrating baby seats?

Updated April 04, 2017

Vibrating baby seats are also called "bouncy" or "bouncer" seats. Many baby seats offer a bouncing option, along with vibration, to keep your baby entertained longer. The vibration can also help your baby fall asleep. Despite the benefits, however, almost 2,000 babies are hurt annually in bouncy seats, according to ConsumerReports.org.

Falling

Vibrating seats can tip over or fall from higher surfaces. The vibrating mechanism of the seat tends to move the seat across smooth surfaces. Putting the seat on top of a counter or table increases this risk. Your vibrating baby seat should always be placed on a low and preferable not slippery surface. Setting the seat on a bed can also be dangerous because if the seat does tip over, the baby is at risk of suffocation.

Entanglement

Once a child starts moving and crawling, a vibrating seat can be dangerous. Check the weight limit on your vibrating seat. The limit is usually between 8.16 and 13.6 Kilogram. Vibrating baby seats that convert to toddler rockers accommodate children up to 18.1 Kilogram. Your child should always be secured in the seat harness. However, this may not stop your child from trying to wiggle out. Always keep an eye on your child; don't leave your child alone in a room. If the chair has been converted to a rocker, use the restraint system until your child can climb in and out without help.

Flattened Head Syndrome

Leaving your baby in a vibrating seat too long is not a good idea. The American Academy of Pediatrics says babies who spend too much time in vibrating seats (as well as car seats) are more likely to develop positional plagiocephaly, also known as flattened head syndrome. This syndrome results when an infant's head is up against the back of a seat so long, she develops a flat spot. One option is to take your child out of the seat after about 30 minutes. Another is to purchase a vibrating seat with a thick cushion for the child's head.

Toy Hazards

Some vibrating baby seats come with a toy bar, especially those that convert to a toddler rocker. The toys dangle in front of the child and may even play songs or make noises when pulled. According to Fisher-Price, the Infant-to-Toddler Rocker musical toy contains a tiny battery. Parents should check the battery compartment to make sure it is securely closed at all times because batteries can be choking hazards. Although toy bars seem secure, they should never be used as a handle. They should also be removed at the appropriate time. Once your child becomes larger, the toys may dangle too close to him, hitting his face.

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About the Author

Mark Shetsky began writing professionally in 2006. He has experience writing newsletters, brochures, press releases and media campaigns for not-for-profit agencies including Catholic Charities' "Compass" and March of Dimes. Shetsky is a U.S. Air Force veteran, has an Associate of Applied Science in liberal arts from Corning Community College and attended University of Southern Indiana, majoring in elementary education.