August 15, 2012 — The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) and Bumbo International, a South African company, have issued a voluntary recall of more than 4 million Bumbo baby seats. According to the press release, “Babies can maneuver out of or fall from the Bumbo seat, posting a risk of serious injuries.” The seats have been associated with dozens of injuries, including skull fractures, mostly among children who fell from seats that were placed on an elevated surface.
This is not the first Bumbo baby seat recall. In October 2007, the CPSC announced that Bumbo would be forced to recall 1 million baby seats. Beginning in 2008, the products were sold with additional warnings about the serious risks of using the seats on an elevated surface.
Unfortunately, despite the warnings, injuries have continued to occur. There have been 50 reports of injuries that occurred when the seats were placed on an elevated surface, including 19 reports of skull fractures. An additional 34 incident reports occurred when the seats were used on the ground or at an unknown height.
The problem is that children can maneuver out of the seat and fall. Obviously, the risk of serious injury increases when the seat is elevated above the ground. Life-threatening injuries were rare, but serious head trauma could have serious long-term complications for a child’s development. Bumps and bruises were the most common injuries.
The baby seats have been sold in the United States since August 2003. They cost about $50, and they have been sold at Walmart, Target, Toys R Us, Babies R Us, Babies USA, Sears, and other major retailers of baby products. The seats are made of one piece of molded foam, with two openings for the legs, and a flat bottom about 15 inches in diameter. They come in many colors.
The CPSC and Bumbo are asking customers to stop using the baby seat immediately, and do not use it until the customer has installed a repair kit. Customers can order a repair kit from the company. The repair kit includes more prominent labels, installation instructions, warning stickers, and instructions for safe use of the seat.
After the seatbelt is installed, the CPSC advises that it should always be worn by a child in the seat, and the seat should never be used on a raised surface.
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