A newborn baby has died after an inflatable plastic ring was placed around her neck while she was in the bath.
Neck float rings have become popular among parents in many different countries in recent years.
The “donuts” are designed to cradle an infant’s head while their body moves around underwater, and are intended to assist with their development of motor skills.
But they’ve attained a horrifying new notoriety after the death of a one-month-old baby in Hunan, China.
It’s believed the neck float was placed around the baby girl’s neck so that she could float unassisted in a bath while being supervised by her mother and grandmother.
They didn’t notice anything wrong until her father came home and found the baby motionless, state media outlet CCTV reports.
The family initially believed she was asleep but took her to hospital where she was found to have died of asphyxiation.
Doctors are now warning about the dangers of the neck rings, which are commonly sold on Chinese e-commerce sites targeted at babies up to a year old.
It’s increasingly common to see pictures and videos of the very young children of vlogging parents wearing the rings while swimming.
Weibo users were horrified to hear of the tragedy, with one hashtag about the baby’s death receiving more than 450 million clicks.
Some were astonished that any parent would think the item was a good idea.
“A one-month-old baby should never be put in such a thing,” one user said.
“Why should a one-month-old swim at all?” asked another.
Others blamed the baby’s mother for being “careless” during bathtime.
However many simply expressed their regret at the infant’s untimely death.
“The mother must be heartbroken,” one top comment read. “Nobody wanted this to happen.”