Years ago, when my child was an infant and barely capable of rolling over, a friend brought over a brightly colored object that kind of looked like a toilet aid. It was a “Bumbo,” as this friend exclaimed with all the self-evidence you would lend to something like a Teddy bear or a pencil. I still needed a bit of clarification. Turns out this “Bumbo” thing was this nifty foam-like contraption that was molded to your infant’s behind and allowed them to sit up (even if their core muscles were not anywhere near developed to accomplish such a task) and presumably converse with you about nationalized health care and the perceptible gains of women’s rights in Afghanistan.
As you may have guessed I was deeply skeptical and felt strongly that if an infant were to be sitting up, they should do it when they are good and ready, not when they were wedged in a modular seat. Well, as much as I enjoy being right, I was right.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recalled Bumbo — which had a long run with a product line that netted bazillions of dollars — due to the fact that these Bumbos are extremely unsafe. A four million Bumbo recall has been announced because at least 50 infants (since 2007) have suffered skull fractures after popping out, or capsizing, while lounging in a Bumbo. This, to be sure, is not the first recall to hit Bumbo. In 2007 there was a less substantial recall to the product to simply provide a warning label that reminded parents not to use the Bumbo on “raised surfaces” (like atop a bookshelf or on the roof of a SUV). However, this did little to make Bumbos as safe as we all wanted them to be. Now, with the pressure of the CPSC, the Bumbo corporation is issuing a recall and providing wanting parents with a “safety belt repair kit” that is said to address the danger.
Do you have a Bumbo? If so, have you had any close calls or concerns? Do you feel this recall came about 5 years too late, or am I being unjustly hard on the Bumbo people?
Image: jcheng / Flickr