Local mother warns about potentially dangerous infant bathtub

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PITTSBURGH - A local mother contacted Channel 11 after she says her baby's bathtub almost left her daughter under water. 

After doing some digging, Channel 11’s Katherine Amenta learned that she's not alone. 

Lindsay Ruffner said she was giving her 4-month-old daughter a bath in the Summer Infant Lil Luxuries Whirlpool, Bubbling Spa and Shower when things went wrong.

“I could see it unraveling around the edges, and you just saw her head go back,” Ruffner said.

According to saferproducts.gov, six other people who have used the bath experienced similar problems. Others complained the product’s battery pack for its whirlpool feature didn’t close properly, causing the batteries to corrode.

Ruffner said she called Summer Infant and was offered a refund. She was also given a free toy and was told her complaint would be reviewed.

She said she wants other parents to know about her experience because she didn’t know how to turn her concerns into actions.

Amenta contacted Summer Infant and was told they would not comment on the tub, but said complaints are taken very seriously.

“We have recently improved our process to include elevated awareness, and oversight by the executive team,” a company spokesperson said.

Dan Dennehy, of the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz School of Business, said if people are concerned about a product -- strength in numbers is key.

“If you call and I call and someone else calls, then something's going on here. Once you start to see clusters, then there's something to do,” said Dennehy.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission issues about 400 recalls each year for unexpected safety issues -- about 43 percent are for children's products.  

While the CPSC would not comment specifically on Summer Infant tub, they told Channel 11 each complaint gets reviewed and they determine if more testing is needed.

Ruffner returned the tub a few weeks ago for her refund.