Posts Tagged ‘ Bumbo ’

Lawsuits Allege Poor Safety Record for Bumbo Chair

Friday, December 16th, 2011

A number of lawsuits have been filed in the past year against Bumbo, the makers of a molded plastic chair designed to support babies as they learn to sit upright.  The most recent, Reuters reports, involves a family whose 9-month-old child suffered a skull fracture after falling out of the chair, which had been placed on a table.  The new suit comes after a 2007 recall, which resulted in the company adding warning labels to the product, and a November warning from the Consumer Product Safety Commission that placing the seats on elevated surfaces place children at risk.

The most recent lawsuit alleges that Bumbo has not taken extensive enough steps to make their product safer–the warning label simply cautions against placing the seats on elevated surfaces–and that the retail chain Toys ‘R Us was negligent in stocking an item that is known to have safety risks.

Bumbo argues that the instructions that come with the seat are clear, and that if used as intended, the product is perfectly safe.  “The Bumbo baby seat is a safe product for infants when it is used as intended: on the floor and never on an elevated surface,” the company said in a statement. “Children should always been closely supervised when they are in the Bumbo seat.”

But Ross Cunningham, the attorney for the family of the 9-month-old, says in the lawsuit that there are a number of safety precautions that Bumbo could and should have taken to prevent injuries:  “Specifically, Bumbo could have incorporated any combination of the following design changes: made the Bumbo Baby Sitter wider at the base, raised the side and back walls of the seat, installed a bulbous pommel on top of the post in between the child’s legs, and incorporated a safety harness, seatbelt or other securing device…that would sit low and tight across the child’s hips. These, and possibly other design improvements, would have prevented a child like (Colby) Ferrell from falling out of the Bumbo Baby Sitter.”

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Consumer Agency Warns Parents About Bumbo Seat Safety

Monday, November 28th, 2011

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a warning that Bumbo chairs, which are designed to help support young babies as they learn to sit upright, have been responsible for at least 45 serious head injuries, including skull fractures, when parents have placed the seats on elevated surfaces like chairs, countertops, or tabletops. 

The new warning comes despite an October 2007 voluntary recall of the seats, which were subsequently re-released with notices printed on the products instructing parents to refrain from placing the seats on elevated surfaces. 

The Bumbo website’s homepage currently features a prominent warning that reads, “Never use the Bumbo baby seat on any elevated surface. The seat is not designed to be totally restrictive. Use of the seat on any elevated surface may result in serious injury. Never leave your child unattended.” 

But the CPSC and the product company, Bumbo International, says that too many parents are ignoring the warnings as well as good safety practices, at great risk to their children.  From a joint statement issued last week:

CPSC and Bumbo International are also aware of an additional 50 reports of infants falling or maneuvering out of Bumbo seats used on the floor and at unknown elevations. These incidents include two reports of skull fractures and one report of a concussion that occurred when babies fell out of Bumbo seats used on the floor. These injuries reportedly occurred when the infants struck their heads on hard flooring, or in one case, on a nearby toy.

The Bumbo seat is labeled and marketed to help infants sit in an upright position as soon as they can support their head. The product warnings state that the seat “may not prevent release of your baby in the event of vigorous movement.” Infants as young as 3 months can fall or escape from the seat by arching backward, leaning forward or sideways or rocking.

Bumbo seats are not currently under a new recall, though parents are urged to heed safety warnings, and not leave children unattended in the seats.

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