Checking the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website for toy recalls this week, we were alerted to a major warning for parents, family members, and caregivers of young children, particularly infants, about “Bumbos.”
What is a Bumbo? Bumbos are baby seats made in South Africa by Bumbo International and imported to the U.S. They are made of brightly colored, usually aqua or purple, plastic. Apparently, the inherent danger is that infants, from three to ten-months old, when placed in a Bumbo baby seat, can fall or escape from the seat by arching backward, leaning forward or sideways or rocking. In October 2007, there was a recall of the Bumbo baby seat when Bumbo and the CPSC learned of approximately 45 incidents in which babies fell from the baby seat while it was being used on an elevated surface, such as a table top or counter. In 17 of those incidents, babies suffered skull fractures.
Even more shocking, the CPSC and Bumbo International have been notified of 50 more incidents involving babies falling or maneuvering out of the Bumbo baby seat when it was placed on the floor. Those events included 2 reports of babies suffering skull fractures and one of concussion. The CPSC recall announcement says, “The Bumbo seat is labeled and marketed to help infants sit in an upright position as soon as they can support their head.”
Even though the product warnings state that the seat “may not prevent release of your baby in the event of vigorous movement,” we think the CPSC warning should go out to parents in the form of an “All Points Bulletin”, because these seats apparently sold like hot-cakes–and everybody has them! Approximately 3.85 million Bumbo baby seats have been sold in the United States since 2003 — at about $40 — that’s approximately $154 million, depending on whether they were purchased at full price.
If you have one of these jewels in your home, please note that the “CPSC and Bumbo International are now aware of at least 46 falls from Bumbo seats used on elevated surfaces that occurred prior to the 2007 recall, resulting in 14 skull fractures, two concussions and one incident of a broken limb.”
One retailer’s advertisement for the Bumbo baby seat indicates they sold for $39.99. The advertisement said, “The Bumbo Baby Seat is cleverly designed to support babies and allows little ones to sit up independently. Made from a single piece of latex-free, low-density, lightweight foam, the Bumbo Seat provides a snug and comfortable environment for your baby to sit in during feedings, play time or quality time with the family. The Bumbo Baby Seat requires no straps or fasteners to hold your baby in place and helps babies make the transition to sitting upright.”
To view a photo of a Bumbo baby seat, go to the CPSC website: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12047.html
At this time there appears to be no provision for a refund or replacement. Childsafetyblog.org suggests parents remove this baby seat from their homes.