Parents of young children should take note of recent media reports signaling the threat of possible child injury in Indiana when using the Bumbo seat.
The seat, made of soft foam and manufactured in South Africa, has become monstrously popular, selling more than 4 million seats in the U.S. alone.
Many parents seem to love the seats because they allow their young infant to sit up, often for the first time. There are no safety straps or buckles, and manufacturers say this is a good thing, as it's not meant to restrict the baby's movement.
But, as our Indiana child injury attorneys know, babies need to be secured. A number of advocacy groups say the fact that that children are not strapped down while in these seats has led to skull fractures and other injuries.
It's been five years since the seat was initially recalled. In 2007, a number of parents began reporting that their children were being hurt when they were placed in the seat that was then placed on an elevated surface, such as a bathroom counter top or kitchen table.
When the seats were recalled, warning labels were placed on the sides, alerting parents and caregivers to the potential dangers of using the seat up high.
Before the recall, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported it had received reports of 46 accidents. In 14 of those cases, the infants suffered a serious skull fracture. Unfortunately, it does not appear the accidents are being reduced after the recall. In fact, the commission reported that since the recall, it has received reports of 45 more children being hurt after falling out of the seats, with 17 of those suffering head injuries.
Additionally, the commission reports that it has received 50 reports of little babies who fell out of the Bumbo seats when they were on the ground. Of those, two had head injuries and another had a concussion.
One would think this would be enough for the commission to issue a second recall of the product. This is exactly what a number of children's advocacy groups have been asking for, with a letter-writing campaign to the government agency. They are still waiting to hear back, according to various media outlets.
Even amid concern among parents, caregivers and government regulators, the maker of the Bumbo seat continues to say the product is not a danger. If used correctly, a spokesman said, the seats are safe.
Putting a strap or safety restraint on the seat isn't an option, the spokesman said, because that would create a false sense of security for parents. The spokesman added that of the 45 new accidents, more than a quarter of them happened in the old seats with no warning labels.
A California pediatrician was quoted by one news agency as saying that even if a parent were standing or sitting right next to the child, an accident in one of these seats could unfold in a split second.