Baby Bumbo Seat Accidents Spur CPSC InvestigationOct 18, 2007 | Parker Waichman LLP The Baby Bumbo Seat, a popular chair for infants, is being investigated by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). According to several media reports, the Baby Bump Seat has been at the center of many accidents that have caused serious injuries to some children.
The Baby Bumbo Seat, sold by Bumbo International of South Africa, is a soft foam chair that is supposed to allow infants to sit upright without the aid of straps. It is designed with the seat lower than the leg openings so that children will remain secure. However, it appears that this defective product does not always work as designed. Parents around the country have reported accidents involving the Baby Bumbo Seat. According to these reports, some infants have fallen out of the seats when they reach for something, causing the Baby Bumbo Seat to tilt off balance.
If the Baby Bumbo Seat is on the floor when it tips, most children are fine. But, if a parent or caregiver has placed the Baby Bumbo Seat on a counter, another chair, or any high surface, the results could be disastrous. At least three accidents have been reported to the CPSC that involved the Baby Bumbo Seat. At least one of those reports involved a child who was seriously injured after falling from a Baby Bumbo Seat placed on a counter. Media outlets have reported on similar incidents involving a child in Kansas and California. The baby in Kansas cracked his skull, as did the California victim. In the California case, the baby required emergency surgery to save his life.
While the Bumbo Seat does have a small warning label that says “never use on a raised surface”, some of its marketing materials send a different message. These materials say the chair is safe on “any level surface”, and some of the pictures used by the company show children sitting in the Bumbo Seat on a raised surface. The website also showed pictures of babies in the seat on a picnic table and playing the piano. The pictures are much more prominent that the contradictory warning label and it is easy to see how someone would think the Bumbo Seat was safe on a high surface. Some of those pictures were removed from the product's website after reports of Baby Bumbo accidents were publicized.
Several media outlets began reporting on problems with Baby Bumbo Seats late last month, and the CPSC started its investigation shortly after that. Reportedly, inspectors from the CPSC have been interviewing parents whose children were injured by the defective Baby Bumbo Seat. Though the CPSC has not taken any action as of yet, one California TV station is reporting that the commission will be making an announcement regarding the Baby Bumbo Seat soon.