Bumbo – the popular baby seat known for its comfortable design, quirky shape, and its ability to allow infants to sit in a chair at a very young age – may soon be a thing of the past. A popular baby shower gift or pass-down item, there have been approximately 3.85 million Bumbo seats sold in the U.S. since 2003.
Bumbo International, the product’s manufacturer, has been urged to recall to the Bumbo seat due to dangerous risks of babies falling from the seat and suffering traumatic head injuries and other injuries as a result. Babies frequently escape from the Bumbo seat by arching their backs, leaning forward or sideways, or rocking back and forth. Infants between 3 and 10 months have been known to suffer serious head injuries, including skull fractures and concussions, after falling from a Bumbo seat, whether on an elevated surface or on the floor.
In October 2007, Bumbo International voluntarily recalled the Bumbo seat after a wave of skull fractures in babies between 3 months and 10 months old was reported, but the only change resulting from the recall was a new product warning on the front of the label that read “Prevent falls! Never use on any elevated surface.” The warning was also added to packaging and instruction manuals. The company did not make any changes to the product’s design.
Last fall, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a warning regarding the risk of injuries to children when they are placed in Bumbo baby seats that are set atop a table, countertop, chair, or other elevated surface. The CPSC reminded parents and caregivers to only place children in the Bumbo seats while the seat is on the floor.
Consumer advocates and parents have pushed for the product’s complete recall, claiming that the product is dangerous even when the baby seat is placed on the floor. According to this Chicago Tribune article, a lawsuit was filed in 2010 by parents of a 3-month-old baby who arched his back and escaped from the baby seat, striking his head on a nearby rattle. The fall fractured the baby’s skull and led to bleeding around the brain.
Since the 2007 recall, CPSC and Bumbo International have received reports of 33 infant skull fractures as a result of falling out of the baby seat. The CPSC and Bumbo International are aware of 46 falls from Bumbo seats that occurred prior to the 2007 recall, with 14 resulting skull fractures, two concussions and one incident of a broken limb.
The seats are incredibly popular on the secondhand market, with parents passing them on to other parents or selling them at garage sales, since the seats can only be used for a few months but are durable enough to last for years. Using children’s products that were obtained through the secondhand market can be particularly dangerous since the consumers may not see the original instruction manuals or may unknowingly buy pre-recall models that lack the new warning.
If your child has been injured as a result of falling from the Bumbo baby seat, you may wish to contact the experienced Illinois product liability attorneys at Ankin Law Offices, LLC to learn about a possible personal injury or product liability claim.