News came yesterday that Bumbo is voluntarily recalling more than four million Bumbo baby seats across the US and Canada – but not in the UK. So are these foam seats a public menace?
After reports of babies injuring themselves by falling from the foam rubber seats, the US and Canadian authorities have issued a safety alert.
Recalls are slightly different in the US, where Bumbo owners are being asked to order a free safety kit.
There hasn’t been a recall in the UK, but if you’re concerned about the Bumbo, its UK distributor Tomy is offering free safety kits to all UK owners, including those who didn’t buy their seat through Tomy. Find out how to request the kit in our Bumbo recall news story.
Don’t use Bumbo’s on raised surfaces
My son used a Bumbo before he could sit properly or crawl. It was really useful for a while – I didn’t have to prop him up with cushions or sit him on my knee for playing or giving him a snack. I didn’t think it was a potentially dangerous baby accessory (not like a baby bouncer), so what’s the story in the US?
Well firstly, it’s been reported that there have been 84 Bumbo-related injuries reported in the US over the last five years. And 50 of them were due to the Bumbo being placed on a high surface.
Now, I thought it was pretty clear that the Bumbo couldn’t be used to put your baby up on high surfaces – the advice that comes with the Bumbo does make it pretty clear – it’s not stuck down, a baby could rock out of it and hurt themselves.
In the UK, around 11,000 children a year are injured through falling off of beds, so is it any wonder the small number of injuries caused by a Bumbo not being used sensibly has been ignored by the UK authorities?
False sense of security
The thing with the Bumbo is that it does give you a false sense of security. If your baby has been happily sitting in it without incident it could be pretty tempting to pop it up on the table, just for a minute, while you do something else and then that’s when the accident happens. It makes you feel your child is safe when perhaps he or she is not.
But is it really more dangerous than any other piece of baby equipment? Or is it being judged harshly because it’s a rather expensive (£30), inessential piece of baby equipment? In fact, when we asked parents to rate the usefulness of baby equipment, the Bumbo baby seat sat in the top ten least useful.
Have you used a Bumbo with your baby? Was it useful or a waste of space? Should they be recalled in the UK, or is common sense enough?