The Bumbo Seat: Stupid Product or Stupid People?

My baby, sitting in a Bumbo! (seated on the ground)
My baby, sitting in a Bumbo! (seated on the ground)

Oh sigh, the Bumbo seat is being recalled again. I’m sure nobody saw that one coming. (Insert sarcasm here.) 

But yes, it’s true. Bumbo International Trust announced today that they are voluntarily recalling 4 million of their popular infant floor seats. Why, you ask? Because babies are getting skull fractures as a result of falling out of the seat.

But is it really the result of a faulty product? Or is it maybe parents making poor choices?

I think I know how it’s happening.

My guess is that these very strong and curious little babes are essentially arching their back, and flipping themselves out of the seat in a matter of a blink of an eye. Or at least that’s what my two-year-old used to do when he was a baby. Fortunately, I was always right there beside him when he did it, both of us sitting ON THE FLOOR.

The unfortunate statistic is that nearly two dozen infant skull fractures have been reported, as a direct result of Bumbo seating.

In my opinion, the Bumbo is a pretty awesome invention. It didn’t exist when I had my firstborn, but back in 2007 I got one as a baby shower gift and have been using it ever since. My daughter loved it, and my two sons have spent their fair share of time in it as well.

Currently, we primarily use it for a place for Paul to sit while he eats. We got the accessory plastic tray that attaches to the chair, and it’s become his little table where he munches down puffs, and even takes his meals off the spoon. And when he needs to be entertained, we throw a couple of toys up on that tray.

But as great as I think it is, it’s also apparently really dangerous. And it’s a product that continues to be recalled.

Today, I posted on Facebook about the recall, and the overwhelming response in the comments was that if only the parents and caregivers would use the seat properly, these injuries could be mostly avoided. That parents are sitting the seat on counter-tops and tables, putting their babies in the seat, and then walking away. And that, my friend, is a super stupid idea.

I agree. Stupid ideas result in injuries all the time. Even with the safest of gear.

For instance, a raised changing table is completely safe for children, assuming the adult has one hand on the child at all time. And strollers are very safe, assuming the caregiver follows manufacturers instructions.

So, the Bumbo is being recalled again. If you own a Bumbo, it’s being recalled. Bumbo will send you a strap (which I’m extremely curious how that will be retrofitted on to existing product), some warning stickers, and of course some reading material on how to use the product properly.

I highly advise everyone who owns a Bumbo to send for the recall kit. Babies getting hurt are never a good idea, in any situation.

But let’s just break it down real quick: Don’t be dumb. Don’t leave a baby unattended in a seat with no strap, because they might flip out. Just because they weren’t strong enough to arch their back out yesterday, doesn’t mean they won’t test out their strength today. And also, unattended babies sitting in chairs on high surfaces such as counter-tops and tables? We can agree that’s probably not a real great idea?

So I ask, is the Bumbo a stupid product? Or are stupid people just using it? Discuss.

Image credit: Moosh in Indy

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