Parents will do whatever is necessary to protect their young children, so they count on whatever products their babies use are safe. Using a baby seat is an example of something a baby uses and the seat is supposed to be safe to sit in. However, in 2007, one such popular baby seat model had a recall because it jeopardized the safety of the baby sitting in it. In fact, about 1 million of the popular molded foam seats, Bumbo Baby, were recalled to add additional warning labels.
The labels warned against putting the baby seats on raised surfaces, such as kitchen counters and tables. Sounds like an easy solution because once it is resolved; parents should not have to worry about using the baby seats anymore. Unfortunately, a new problem has happened and about 4 million of the popular Bumbo Baby Seats are being recalled because of reports of nearly two dozen cases of infants suffering skull fractures.
The reason for the recall is that according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, it is easy for babies to wiggle out of the floor seats. In response, the South African-based Bumbo International, those who make the seats, have announced they will provide a repair kit to owners that will help them add a strap to better secure the babies in the seats.
This, it seems, to have been a big concern for consumer groups as they have tried for several months to get the CPSC to have the seats recalled. The consumer groups wanted the seats redesigned so babies could not wriggle out of the seats and fall. The delay of any action by the CPSC was because the baby seat is not considered to be an infant carrier, a walker nor a child safety seat for cars; therefore, the Bumbo seat is not covered by any federal or even any industry standards.
Luckily, the CPSC has authority to issue a recall on products that it doesn’t regulate. Also, according to agency spokesman Scott Wolfson, said in March that the CPSC has the ability to issue a product recall, even though it isn’t covered by a safety standard, so long as it “presents a substantial product hazard.”
In issuing a statement, the company said that, “Children, especially infants who are learning to move around, can squirm out of seats. “The restraint belt will help prevent children from getting out of or falling from the seat when it is used as intended: On the floor with adult supervision and never on raised surfaces.”
They also added that as of Wednesday, any new Bumbo seats that are purchased will contain the restraint belt. Though the majority of new seats will contain the restraint belt, there may be some stores that will contain the repair kit that will be sold with the seat. The Consumer Federation of America’s product director, Rachel Weintraub, voiced her opinion on the recall by saying, “Too many children were injured while using this product. The fact that the manufacturer is changing the product by including restraints is incredibly significant.”
Even though the company has “stepped up to the plate” by following through with the recall, some say it is not enough. In fact, there is still concern on how safe the Bumbo Baby Seat really is. The advocacy group Kids in Danger’s executive director, Nancy Cowles, is happy that the company is offering the fix; however, warns that the seats will still not be safe to use on tables or counters. She even questions the need for the seats to be used at all. The seats are usually only recommended for a baby to use from the time it can only hold its’ head up until it can sit unassisted. Cowles feels that, “It might be better even with the fix to pass on this product.” Anyone who wishes to order a repair kit, they can call (866) 898-4999 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Thursday and between 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. CT on Friday or visit www.recall.BumboUSA.com.
Millions of Bumbo seats are being recalled because there have been dozens of injuries associated with usage of the seat.
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