If you have been at a baby shower in the past few years, you have likely seen the expecting mommy open what has become a very popular child product. It’s called the Bumbo Baby Sitter, and at first glance seems to be something that is harmless. But lots of seemingly harmless products can surprise us and lead to injury and product liability lawsuits.
The Bumbo is a small plastic seat that can prop up a baby before the baby can actually sit up on her own. Some families who have used the Bumbo, however, have found that the product is hazardous, allowing children to move out of the seat, fall out of it and sustain injuries in the accident.
A 9-month-old child, for example, fell out of his seat and fractured his skull. The parents realized that the seat was not as safe for their child, who was skinnier and moved around a lot. He easily threw himself out of the seat, which doesn’t have any sort of seat belt on it to secure the child inside.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission had reportedly received nearly 30 reports of injuries related to the child product. Accident reports inspired a 2007 product recall and moved the manufacturer of the Bumbo seat to put clear safety warnings on the product labels.
But some critics wonder whether the warning labels are enough. Since the initial recall, the family of the injured child mentioned above filed a personal injury lawsuit against the maker of Bumbo, as well as Toys R Us, where they got their product. While digging up information for the lawsuit, the family found that there have been an estimated 300 reported incidents of injury related to the product.
A competing product has come out since the reports of injuries were documented, and this product has a seat belt to help keep kids in the seat. Supporters of the Bumbo seat, including Toys R Us, believe that the product is safe — if it used as it is intended. A child in the seat should always be under the supervision of an adult, and the seat should never be used on an elevated surface.
Our kids are our most valued possessions. What we buy for them, therefore, has to be safe. If a product proves time and time again to be unsafe, we as parents and protectors of the young need to do what we can to require more of product manufacturers.
Reuters: “Did Bumbo ignore child safety in favor of profits?” Mitch Lipka, Dec. 14, 2011