A South Africa-based company has recalled about 1 million infant baby seats because there were several reports of children falling out of these seats and getting badly hurt. According to a Reuters news report, the seats were sold by many large retailers in the United States including Target, Wal-Mart, Kmart, Sears and Babies’R’ Us.
The article states that of the 28 young children who fell out of these “sitter” seats, three suffered skull fractures because the seats were kept on table tops. The company, Bumbo International, is voluntarily recalling the products so it can update its safety label to include the warning that the seats should never be placed on a table, counter top, chair or any other elevated surface. The company states the product is otherwise safe and does not consist of any defective parts that will compromise a child’s safety when used correctly.
The company has also announced on its Web site http://www.bumbo.co.za/ that it will stop selling these seats until the safety information and packaging have been updated. The company stresses that there are no product defects. More information about the recall may also be found on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Web site.
The bottom of the seat is round and flat. It is constructed of a single piece of molded foam and comes in yellow, blue, purple, pink, aqua, and lime green. The seat also has leg holes and seat back that wraps completely around the child.
On the one hand, the company must be commended for issuing this voluntary recall just to update the safety information in a day and age when manufacturers have to be arm-twisted into recalling truly defective products. However, that is not to understate the importance of making product safety information very clear on the products and leave no room for doubts. Companies must also list a phone number on the packaging to answer consumer questions relating to the assembly or use of the product.
Also, many parents have complained on watchdog Web site, Consumeraffairs.com that their children have been injured in spite of them using the seats the way they were supposed to be used. One mom told the group that her child managed to fall off the seat and bruise her hand badly although the seat was placed on the floor.
Many angry parents have also criticized the company for addressing the problem by giving them a “safety sticker.” According to the article, many parents feel that this information is still not going to reach parents who will continue using the product like they did before. One dad from Santa Rosa, Calif. reported to the Web site that his 4-month-old son placed on the seat and on a table, arched his back when the seat tipped back. The child reportedly suffered a severe skull fracture and was saved by emergency surgery. According to this parent, Bumbo’s packaging in fact showed a picture of the seat placed on a table top.
If Bumbo did in fact make a bad product with a defective design, they must step up to the plate and take responsibility for that. Federal investigators and inspection agencies should also look into this product, talk to parents of children who have used these products and get to the bottom of it.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, call Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys for a free consultation.