With nearly 4 million sold in the U.S. since 2003, the Bumbo Baby Seat is a molded plastic seat which is used to help babies sit up on their own before they’re able to do so. But its safety record is uncertain.
Children are falling out of them and Bumbo had to recall the seat in 2007 after 28 injuries – including many skull fractures.
The company placed warning labels on the seats saying they shouldn’t be used on elevated surfaces.
However, since the recall, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has that there have been more injuries to children. Just this year, there have been more than 300 reported cases of children being injured when the product was both on the ground or elevated.
Lawsuits are flying over the safety of the product. Many are accusing Toys R Us retailers of knowingly selling a product that has caused injuries. One of the buyers at Toys R Us is quoted in the litigation as saying that she had never seen an infant product like that without a safety restraint, such as a seat belt. She went on to say that after learning about the severity of the injuries from the Bumbo seat, she didn't think it was safe.
Bumbo has released a statement saying that they stand by their product and believe it is safe when used correctly. "The Bumbo baby seat is a safe product for infants when it is used as intended: on the floor and never on an elevated surface," the statement says. "Children should always been closely supervised when they are in the Bumbo seat." The company also says it is working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to educate parents on the correct use of the seat.
The only Bumbo Seat competitor, bØbØPOD, added a seat belt after the Bumbo recall.
An attorney in one of the litigations alleges in the Bumbo lawsuit that safer alternative design existed. They are arguing that Bumbo could have made the Bumbo seat wider at the base, raised the side and back of the seat, installed a safety harness or seat belt, anything to prevent a child from falling out of the seat.
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