Some 4 million Bumbo Baby Seats are being recalled, nine months after the government took the unusual step of issuing a warning to those using the product that infants were suffering serious injuries after falling out.
The South African manufacturer's inaction then prompted a coalition of consumer groups in February to urge a recall, which finally happened today. The resolution will be that all Bumbo owners can get a free seat belt kit from the company - something safety advocates have been seeking.
Injuries to infants who have fallen Bumbo - which is designed to put babies in a sitting position before they could do so on their own - have been blamed, in part, on the lack of any kind of safety restraint.
In 2007, Bumbo was recalled to issue new safety instructions after reports of babies falling out of the seats and off of tables and other elevated surfaces. Parents and caregivers were then urged to not use the seats anywhere other than the floor.
Since that recall, the CPSC said at least 50 incidents of infants falling out of the seats from raised surfaces have been reported, including 19 resulting in skull fractures. Another 34 incidents since that initial recall involved babies getting hurt falling out of Bumbo seats while they were on the ground.
Bumbo has been defending against lawsuits filed by the parents of infants who have been injured falling from the seats. Bumbo seats have been sold since August 2003 for between $30 and $50.
Consumers are urged to stop using them immediately and contact the company to receive a free kit with a safety belt, a new warning label and instructions about how to safely use the seats.
To get the repair kit, either visit Bumbo's recall site or call (866) 898-4999 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Thursday and between 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Friday.
Bumbo also has been defending lawsuits filed by parents of babies injured while using the product.
The author is solely responsible for the content.
About the author
Mitch Lipka is one of America's leading consumer journalists and advocates. He is an expert in product safety, recalls, scams, and helping consumers get out of jams. He is a nationally known consumer columnist and runs TheConsumerChronicle.com. He lives in Worcester. You can find him on Facebook or reach him at ConsumerNews@Aol.com