October 25, 2007

CPSC: Apparently, 1mm Bumbo Baby Seats Aren't Meant For Use On Tables

bumbo, originally uploaded by dulcesmommy.

You know how Bumbo baby seats totally look like untippable foam suction cups-for-babies? Yeah well, not so much.

The CPSC has issued a recall for the 1 million+ Bumbo Baby Seats sold in the US since August 2003 after receiving "28 reports of young children falling out of the seats, including three who suffered skull fractures because the seats had been placed atop tables."

The safety fix entails "obtain new warning label stickers and instructions." [Hey, at least there IS a safety fix ready this time!]

The new warning label states, “WARNING – Prevent Falls; Never use on any elevated surface.” It is meant to go on the back of the Bumbo next to the original warning, which states:

“WARNING” – “Never use on a raised surface. Never use as a car seat or bath seat. Designed for floor level use only. Never leave your baby unattended as the seat is not designed to be totally restrictive and may not prevent release of your baby in the event of vigorous movement.”
I guess in South Africa, a "raised surface" is elevated, like a table, while in the US, it's bumpy, like a barnwood door.

That, or this is the most pointless recall remedy in history. They might as well tell people to get a Sharpie and write " RAISED MEANS ELEVATED" on the back.

Because if they accidentally put the sticker on top of the old warning, people might suddenly start using the Bumbo as a car seat or bath seat.

Or you can just get a Sharpie and write "USE ON FLOOR ONLY" on the back.

Meanwhile, if you want a quick cute-fix, just look at the flickr photos tagged "bumbo." Seriously, even the suddenly-dangerous-looking ones are adorable.

Baby Seats recalled due to head injuries [ap/yahoo via dt reader sara]
Serious Head Injuries Prompt Recall of Bumbo Baby Sitter Seats - New Warnings and Instructions to Be Provided To Consumers [cpsc.gov]

try and buy a Bumbo for floor use at Amazon, $40 [amazon]


Man, I remember the Bumbo having tons of warnings to this effect on the box. Which is why I immediately placed my daughter on the kitchen counter so she could watch me cook.

We've been using the Bumbo to elevate our baby high enough to see over the dashboard from the front seat of the car. Is this bad?

[do you have an airbag? -ed.]

I'm guessing the sticker would be useful for those who pick up their bumbos unboxed (garage sale, hand me down, whatever). But I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt here...

[yeah, I figured the same thing. But a recall still seems like a pretty mismatched mechanism for this kind of situation and fix. -ed.]

Could someone explain to me the purpose of the sticker? Is it to go on top of the warning in red letters already on our Bumbo, or just near them?

For what's worth (very, very little), I may have another solution: http://flickr.com/photos/jason_coleman/1752307199/

Dudelet basically tipped his bumbo over the moment he was put in it. Even though he could barely crawl, he resented be prevented from the possibility of movement. So it's lived in the [closet? cupboard? trunk? -ed.] ever since. Maybe the next one will have more interest in watching the scenery pass by.

hmm - the problem we've seen the most of is the kid arching back and going rigid, thus flipping backwards with seat still attached to butt - seatbelt wouldn't help any...

[this was apparently the big reason for the recall: top-heavy kid arches back, pops out, flips over--and falls of table. -ed.]

I'm still trying to imagine why someone would put their child on the table in the first place. Wiggly baby + 3 feet off the floor = not a good equation no matter what the baby is in.

Maybe they should recall the parents? Stickers to be applied to forehead "Not to be trusted with babies".


becster & greg: I suspect that you are correct and that a kid could easily tip out of a Bumbo seat even with my seat-belt idea on. I still think there's nothing inherently unsafe about a foam kids seat. It certainly does require some judgment to use, though (and perhaps, like most parenting, some good luck).

[yeah, I still see the problem as the table, not the chair. Falling over is what kids do. whether it's from 0 or 4 inches high seems irrelevant. -ed.]

What about a giant suction cup on the bottom of the seat so my kid is literally stuck in the spot? Then I could use it in the tub, maybe instead of a car seat, in the Mr. Turtle pool....

Here is an idea. If you are a fellow Canadian and paid the ridiculous CDN cost of $56-60 for your Bumbo like I did... Now is the time to march right down to ToysRUs and return your seat for full retail value and buy a new one in the US for $40 and save yourself $20-25 (depending on how our loonie is performing for the day).

Why is this warning only being used for the Bumbo? What about the competing and IMHO vastly inferior Bebe Pod?

I'm still trying to imagine why someone would put their child on the table in the first place.

We fed our son in his Bumbo from the time he was about six months old until just after his first birthday (when we finally broke down and bought an ugly-ass high chair). In fact, I think I have a photo ... ah yes ... here he is sitting in the Bumbo on the kitchen table (supervised, of course).

We basically used it raised until he showed signs of being able to get out of it on his own, then moved to the high chair.

I agree with this being one of the dumbest recalls I've ever heard of. Parents -- millions of parents like me -- are just using the thing in violation of the "Designed for Floor Level Use Only" instructions. We were aware of the risk, and always kept him highly supervised.

Sheesh. What a waste of time. Why aren't they hunting down more lead paint violators instead of wasting time on this??

Sarcastic comment made by me above aside, we loved the jumbo until our babies legs got too fat for it at 6 mos(!).

Maybe a better idea would be to send out a saw so you could shorten the legs of your table.

It's amazing we all survived childhood what with no car-seats, five point harnesses, product recalls, etc...oh, wait...that's right our parents weren't complete morons!

Perhaps this is what my husband terms "a self-cleaning oven" situation. Lest idiots perpetuate themselves.

Here's the riddle:
What pinhead doesn't recognize that it's perilous to perch a precious pumpkin in a precarious and poorly placed product?

A pernicious, pea-brained parent!

(Whew, that was fun!)

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