Are Vibrating Baby Seats Dangerous?

To many parents, a vibrating baby seat, sometimes called a bouncer or bouncy seat, is a lifesaver. The chair is designed for young babies who can't sit unassisted and provides some hands-free time for the parents. The vibration mechanism built into the chair can be soothing to some infants, calming the colicky baby or lulling an overtired little one to sleep. Baby equipment can always pose dangers if it's not used correctly or if it's broken. Understand the potential dangers of a vibrating baby seat to keep your child safe.

Baby seat. (Image: sunstock/iStock/Getty Images)

Preventing Falls

The vibrations of a baby bouncy seat can increase the risk of the chair tipping over, leading to injury to the child. For this reason, vibrating seats should always be placed on the floor, not on a raised surface like a bed or table. also stresses the importance of keeping the seat on a hard, flat surface, because a young baby can suffocate on the padding of a bed or chair if the bouncy seat gets knocked over.

Keep Baby Safe

Baby equipment of all kinds is subject to the occasional broken piece, which can become a choking hazard to a small child. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has worked with manufacturers over the years to voluntarily recall bouncer seats that were not up to safety standards. The seats in question had toy bars that detached from the body of the baby seat, which can injure the child. A vibrating seat may be somewhat more likely to spontaneously detach due to the constant motion of the chair, as opposed to a stationary seat. Test bouncy seats for durability before purchase and ensure it's certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, warns Toy bars should be securely fastened to the seat and should not detach, even when handled firmly or roughly.

Truth About Batteries

Vibrating baby seats employ batteries as their electrical source. Batteries that are not securely confined to the battery compartment of the chair can pose a choking threat to babies. Denver's ABC television news affiliate reported in 2009 that a toddler hemorrhaged to death after swallowing a game battery. The battery in question was a small, circular, button-sized device. Most vibrating infant seats use larger double-A batteries, which may be too big for the child to swallow; however, dangers of unsecured batteries remain. Acid can leak out of the batteries and cause chemical burns to the child's mouth and esophagus.

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