The Bumbo. It sounds dirty, but it’s not.
Most people will instantly recognize the chair that has become a “must have” item on practically every expectant Mom’s wishlist. The brightly colored foam seats look like the love child of IKEA + NERF and are a portable, lightweight, and let’s face it, super-cute chair for your baby. The chairs are meant to be used on the floor and with adult supervision, which seems pretty obvious considering there is no restraint system or way to safely mount it to any surface. Oh, and the fact that they are called Bumbo Baby Floor Seats. Of course just to be safe, it is clearly marked both on the packaging and on the chair itself that you should never leave a child unattended or use the chair on a raised surface, but apparently that wasn’t enough.
Last week Bumbo issued a voluntary recall on over 4 million of their famous baby seats due to nearly 2 dozen reports of infant injury, including 19 skull fractures.
Infants who get injured are no laughing matter, and it is absolutely tragic when it happens. Could these particular injuries have been prevented by a lap belt? Maybe. Could they have been prevented by using the chair as it was intended, on the floor? Probably.
Could it have been prevented if the parents were within arms reach and using the seats as directed? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say yes.
If you were to get into a car accident, would you try to sue Ford or Honda? No. Okay, well maybe some people would, but that would be stupid. They are probably the same people who leave their babies in a foam seat on the counter or table, or try to sell their child door to door. User error is user error, and I think that Bumbo is doing a great job by stepping up and doing a voluntary recall. Obviously it makes them look better as a company, but it is also safer for the children who tend to act like children and squirm and wiggle while seated.
I have to admit that I am sad that it has come to this in the first place. Next thing you know our infants will be coming home from the hospital with warning labels tattooed directly onto them. Keep away from open flame. Do not shake. This side up. Do not place on bookshelf while you run to the store to buy booze and smokes.
If you can’t figure out how to safely use a one piece foam chair, I personally want your information so I can use you as an example for my Permit Required to have Children* movement.
So to recap, Bumbo is paying to mail out a lap belt for consumers to install in the seat along with more visible warning stickers. For more information, please go to Bumbo USA or Bumbo Canada or feel free to browse Planned Parenthood and their birth control info.
*Coming soon. Look for picket signs at select locations near you.