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Millions of Baby Seats Recalled

9 comments

Bumbo foam "floor" seats for babies, sold at Babies R Us, Target, and Walmart, among others, from August 2003 through August 2012, have been recalled by Bumbo International of South Africa, in conjunction with the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

There have been at least 50 incidents where babies have fallen out of the seats from raised surfaces. The seats were reportedly designed to be used on the floor, There have been 21 reports of skull fractures to babies. The CPSC states that there have been another 34 reports of babies falling from the seats while they were on the floor or an unknown elevation.

According to Bumbo and the CPSC, babies can wiggle out of the seats. Bumbo is apparently going to install a restraint belt to prevent the latter from occurring.

Consumers should stop using the seats and request a "repair kit" at http://www.recall.BumboUSA.com or by calling 866-898-4999.

For more information on product recalls, visit: http://www.cpsc.gov

9 Comments

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  1. EBG says:
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    It’s disappointing that parents would be careless enough to leave children unattended in a bumbo on a raised surface and even worse that this is something that would then be blamed on the manufacturer. I loved our bumbo and used it per the directions and common sense with no ill outcome. I wish more parents would take more responsibility for the complete care of their children.

  2. Justin says:
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    There is not a single reason that they should recall this. Of course a child could fall out if its up off the floor. It was not designed for that. We love ours and when we want to elevate our child we use a seat made for that.

  3. Greg Webb says:
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    EBG,

    Thank you for your comments. Those comments prompt some questions from me, however. How many children do you have? If you have any, can you state honestly that you have never left your children alone in a room? Or taken your eyes off of them in the house? Busy mothers, and fathers, sometimes may, in the rush of getting things done or moving about, place their child someplace other than the floor. I would venture to say that if every parent were videotaped 100% of the time, that tape may catch a few occasions where the child was left alone for a few minutes, perhaps longer. I congratulate you if you have been able to eliminate all such occasions.

    I have 2 daughters – I wish I could be a perfect parent, but must admit that I am not.

    One question here is, was this risk/hazard foreseeable to Bumbo? Probably. If so, this hazard can be minimized or eliminated with a design improvement, perhaps the one Bumbo is now implementing.

    Nonetheless, I understand your comments, but must state that these situations are not all strictly black and white. Like most of life, there is quite a bit of gray in there. We should be hesistant to throw stones at these parents.

    Greg Webb

  4. Greg Webb says:
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    Justin,

    Thanks for offering your comments. I disagree with your recall opinion, but understand why you feel that way. I think one issue may be that parents may feel their child is secure in the Bumbo seat, when in fact he/she is not. If the seat itself is secure in a location, and the parent feels the child is secure in the seat, then there may be a sense of safety there. As I stated to EBL, parents get pulled in many different directions in the home, especially if they have multiple children, distractions, etc., and sometimes may feel the child is safe for a few minutes in the location where placed.

    We would all like to think we would never do something to place our children in danger, but if you have ever exceeded the speed limit or a safe speed with your child in the car, or gone through a yellow or red light with your child in the car, or not completely stopped at a stop sign, or talked on a cell phone while driving your child, you may have placed your child in danger and thought little of it. If an accident occurred during one of the above, what would your position then be? I would submit that no parent is perfect.

    Greg Webb

  5. EBG says:
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    Mr. Webb – I appreciate the sentiment. To respond to your question, yes, I am a parent of a highly active toddler, and I assure you I am far from a perfect parent. That said, I can assure you that as a user of the Bumbo I did not ever leave my daughter on a raised surface in the Bumbo. In fact, I never put the Bumbo on a raised surface, per the product instructions if not simply by common sense. I agree that rick mitigation by the manufacture is expected, but for parents that wish to blame a company for their negligence, I would pose the question you asked back to you, could the parent not foresee the risk of leaving a child unattended on a raised surface, no matter the device used? I made a lot of changes when I became a parent. I never answer a phone call, even hands free, when my child is in the car, being among them, as you mention to another reader. Parents should take first responsibility for the care of their children and not use the legal system to escape it.

  6. Greg Webb says:
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    EBG,

    I tried to “foresee” your question in my first response. I think parents get distracted with many things in the home, like other children, pets, etc., and, in assuming the child is unable to get out of the Bumbo seat, may set the child on a raised surface, like a counter or table. It happens. As far as lawsuits, I do not know if any of these parents have sued, and if so, what the chance of success would be. This blog concerned recalls, not lawsuits. These may be very tough lawsuits, for some of the reasons you mentioned, but there are many variables that go into such an analysis.

    That being said, generally speaking, I do not think filing a law suit means that a parent is necessarily attempting to escape responsibility. Responsibility works in many directions, and corporations have responsibilities too, and not just to make a profit. Our justice system, and the Seventh Amendment, allow such recourse for people who are injured, or whose property is damaged. I suspect that if you or a loved one were harmed by the wrongful or negligent conduct of another (not the Bumbo seat of course), you would consider rationale options such as a lawsuit. Even the most conservative of individuals have not hesitated to use our tort system, including former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, former federal Judge Bork, and others (the list is long). So, I would ask you not to assume that everyone who brings an action for damages to be abrogating their personal responsibility. Responsibility and accountability applies to companies as well as individuals, especially because the company has superior knowledge about its product.

    Regards,

    Greg Webb

  7. EBG says:
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    Mr. Webb,

    You first question whether I am a parent if I can hold the opinion I do on the bumbo issue. You now seem to question whether I support our constitution. Let me state, for the record that is the worldwide web, that I am neither an enemy of any element of the US constitution or of the legal system we have developed in the US responsible for its execution. I am, however, as previously stated, opposed to negligence by parents in such obvious situation as leaving a child in a bumbo on a raised surface. If common sense does not help the parent, the label on the product certainly could. Finally, your gross questioning of my personal situation in regard to recourse to the legal system in the advent a loved one were injured…my brother nearly died in 1998 by virtue of a defect in the automobile he was driving. After nearly two weeks in the ICU, when the dust had settled, copies of the police reports and detailing on the automobile were sufficient to resolve the issue with the auto manufacturer. No family had no need for a personal lawyer, but would certainly agree we are grateful a legal system that could have addressed the issue. The bumbo situation, as you can clearly recognize with your presumed legal training, is something completely different. I will not further discuss this issue with you. I should hope you are more careful with your assumptions and logical linkages in the course of your professional work.

  8. EBG says:
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    Mr. Webb,

    You first question whether I am a parent if I can hold the opinion I do on the bumbo issue. You now seem to question whether I support our constitution. Let me state, for the record that is the worldwide web, that I am neither an enemy of any element of the US constitution or of the legal system we have developed in the US responsible in part for upholding it. I am, however, as previously stated, opposed to negligence by parents in such obvious situations as leaving a child in a bumbo on a raised surface. If common sense does not help the parent, the label on the product certainly should. Finally, your gross questioning of my personal situation in regard to recourse to the legal system in the event a loved one were injured…my brother nearly died in 1998 by virtue of a defect in the automobile he was driving. After nearly two weeks in the ICU, when the dust had settled, copies of the police reports and detailing on the automobile were sufficient to resolve the issue with the auto manufacturer. My family had no need for a personal lawyer, but would certainly agree we are grateful for the existence of a legal system that could have addressed the issue. The bumbo situation, as you can clearly recognize with your presumed legal training, is something completely different. I will not further discuss this issue with you. I should hope you are more careful with your assumptions and logical linkages in the course of your professional work.

  9. Greg Webb says:
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    EBG,

    I did not intend to question your support of the Constitution. I only meant to highlight that for you and any other readers. I apologize for coming across in that fashion. I understand and respect your position on the Bumbo seat issue. I was trying to respectfully point out there can be reasonable differences of opinion on such issues. One problem with communicating like this is that the “tone” of written words can make folks get cross-ways with one another when the same would not have occurred if they were talking with one another.

    Thank you for commenting.

    Greg