Saturday, August 18, 2012

Bumbo Schmumbo

**NOTE: I'm not a lawyer.  I'm not a doctor.  I'm not a safety specialist.  This post is my opinion as a mom and there are probably many flaws with it.  I don't doubt that at all.  Debate is welcome, but only if polite. :-)

So for any of you who aren't moms, you might not even know what a bumbo is.  Let me show you:

I picked the blue one for my picture because that's what we have... a hand-me-down blue one that I think originally belonged to my friend, K.B. and her 3 little ones.  It got passed off to K.A. and her baby and now it lives at our house!

Anyway, tt's this round, plastic-y foam chair that is intended for wee ones.  It's about the right size to put your 3-6 month old child in.  It's perfect for the age range where the kid has some head control, but not yet trunk control.  Thus, they can "sit upright" because the chair wedges them into the right position and gives awesome trunk and leg support.  It's actually quite a tight squeeze-- I know many kids that "grow out of it" before they get awesome head control because their chubby little thighs just won't squish down into those tight leg holes.

You can buy a little tray to go on top of it, which I was stoked to do with some of my baby shower money.  The tray, in my opinion (see note above) sorta locks the kiddo in even further than the tightness of the chair.  And it provides a great surface for toys and beginning finger foods if you're kiddo is small enough to fit inside when she's eating finger foods.

I recommended this chair a lot when I was working in an outpatient feeding therapy program at a hospital for children.  It's a great tool for families!

However, this month, a "recall" has come out for the bumbo.  Recall, you ask?  Why is it recalled?  Is there lead in the paint?  Does it spontaneously combust?  What could be so wrong with this chair that they put out a recall on the 4 million units sold in the USA?  As it turns out, kids fall out of it.


But yes, if you read the recall, it turns out that "at least 50" kids have somehow extracted themselves from a Bumbo chair... while being used on a raised surface (e.g., likely kitchen table).  An additional 34 evidently squirmed out of the chair while on the floor.  So Bumbo is now giving away millions of little seat belts for free so that they're no longer legally responsible for our collective American stupidity.

Now I applaud Bumbo for doing something about the complaints.  I mean, that shows good business.  But more than likely, millions of little seat belts are probably cheaper than the few law suits that they might have to tackle.  So maybe it's just good C-Y-Aing rather than good business.

But I took a look at my bumbo... which remind you, is at least 3 years old, might be 8 years old dependent on when K.B. purchased it... while I was writing this post.  And it has a big warning label on the back side that says "never use on a raised surface.  never use as a car seat or bath seat.  designed for floor level use only.  never leave your baby unattended as the seat is not designed to be totally restrictive and may not prevent release of your baby in the event of vigorous movement."  

And don't get me wrong, if my baby cracked her skull open, I'd be looking for some other skulls to crack open too.  But seriously, people?  You put your 4 month old upright in a chair without a seat belt and then probably thought that you could walk away without keeping a hand on them?  You probably put that chair on a raised surface and didn't superglue it down?  And then you blamed the COMPANY for making an unsafe chair?  I'm sorry, I don't think the bumbo is defective.  I think you might be.

and p.s., the recall says there are 4 million units sold... and 50+34 complaints.  Someone do the math on that!  Sheesh.

1 comment:

  1. Only had it for O, but bought it off Craigslist. So 4 years for us, but probably not many before that. It seems like it was the "new thing" when my O was born.

    Glad it works for you guys! xo