Bumbo Baby Seats Recalled After 3 Children Sustain Skull Fractures


Bumbo baby seats are meant to help infants stay upright before they’re actually able to do it on their own. The trouble is, they’re not especially good at keeping the child from catapulting itself out of the chair. This has resulted in 28 injuries including 3 skull fractures, according to the CPSC.

Here’s some very tense video from Good Morning America.

The recall just involves the distribution of better warning labels, but these seats seem like they might be more trouble than their worth. If you do use one, don’t use it on a table top. Your kid could launch herself at a moment’s notice.

[Good Morning America]

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  1. adamondi says:

    Why in the world would anyone use one of these on a table top? My wife and I have one of these for our infant son, and we only ever set it on the floor when he is sitting in it. You aren’t supposed to put a baby on a table top in ANY chair that doesn’t have him fastened in.

    Seriously, people. A little bit of thought goes a long way. But no, instead we get another ugly warning sticker like those plastered all over our car seat and stroller. Ugh.

  2. ErinYay says:

    The worst thing is that parents really just want to do the right thing by their kids. Bumbos are heavily advertised and testimonialized in baby mags (we’re planning on spawning, and I’m a “research” fiend.) just as The Baby Videos That Will Not Be Named are as being “safe” and “effective.”

    Luckily for our kids, we’re a) skeptics, and b) cheap, so the likelihood of them being injured by the Next Big Thing is low, but what on earth are busy parents supposed to do now, other than think critically and stop buying a bunch of stuff?

  3. matt1978 says:

    The world is full of idiots.

  4. Pink Puppet says:

    Seriously, it says specifically on the box that the seat not to put it on any elevated surfaces. I have one for my nephew, so he can sit on the floor with us during family time. And you know what, he can escape it with a little effort because it’s just a baby-chair, not a baby-restraint. We pop him in the playpen if we have to leave the room without him for a minute.

    If you leave your kid unattended like that in something that is NOT a restraint, AND misuse it? You don’t deserve children.

    It’s not rocket science. The chair is perfectly safe if you use it right.

  5. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

    @HappyPuppy:

    From what I’ve heard, the Bumbo seat is the hot new baby shower gift. I guess the Diaper Genie is soooo 1990’s.

  6. mamacat49 says:

    Great,another warning for stupid people (the same ones that shouldn’t be breeding in the first place).
    If you can’t grasp the idea that your baby shouldn’t be off the floor in this thing, then you must have been dropped a few times yourself.

  7. LiC says:

    Table top or unsupervised. Kids are escape artists, my little sister can get out of a car seat with shoulder straps and the hook across her chest no matter how tight we make it.

  8. North of 49 says:

    Those came out shortly after Son of 49 was born, but too late for him. Ms. No49 took one look at it and rejected it outright for any of our future offspring. The price tag was way too high and it just didn’t seem safe for the baby. Babies shouldn’t be sitting upright for long periods before they are able to do it themselves. And no safety strap? What where the designers thinking?

    Even a fall of a few inches can kill a baby, so the floor isn’t safe either for those seats.

  9. brendanm14 says:

    my bet is that some sort of strap will be implemented into the foam.

    Diaper Genies are a rip off and smelly. Just get yourself some vanilla scented small Ruffies bag (100 for $4) and throw the dirty diaper in there, then in the trash….done and doner.

  10. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    Yep we saw one of these for our son. One of the wife’s friends had one so we set our 8 month old at the time in it. I think he sat in it for about 42.6 seconds before he flipped himself out of it. But yeah the warning already says not to put them on top of stuff. Geez and we wonder why so many people are not able to think for themselves. They have been warning labeled and preached at to the death of thinking. Common sense would tell you babies and heights dont work.

  11. amoeba says:

    I may be single without children, but I am not stupid to know that a baby or toddler shouldn’t be sitting or potty training on high (Table, Kitchen counters or whatever) I don’t get it. Is the complaint Valid? I wonder…

  12. warf0x0r says:

    Its just a way of weeding out babies that really never stood a chance.

  13. Elvisisdead says:

    @amoeba: Ha. Note to me. Don’t let Amoeba babysit. This seat isn’t for potty training, and I’d be mad if you let my daughter pee in it.

    We have one. It’s an aid to help them to learn to sit. They absolutely learn to do it without this, but it helps parents believe that their spawn is more advanced than they are. It was a gift, but I wouldn’t buy another.

    The thing nobody really considers is that the little ones are SO noggin-heavy when they use these things. If you cheat development and put them in this before they can sit up, they fall out. That’s why it’s called development – they have to develop the ability to sit up on their own. Once they’re a little more mobile, this stupid thing has no chance of containing them.

  14. skrom says:

    Wow, how did babies ever learn to sit 50 years ago. This is just another BIG waste of money!!

  15. TurboWagon00 says:

    We got *five* of these as gifts from recent shower. Took them all back and got a nice credit towards something useful ($40 each !). According to sisterinlaw the kids abandon them after about 8 weeks. The first “mother” is a moron, and not just for naming their child Brooklyn. The warnings are *molded* into the bottom of the seat.

  16. etinterrapax says:

    Christ, those things are expensive. My husband was into the idea for some reason, but I nixed. The kid can sit independently at about 6-7 months anyhow. So it’s $40 for a six-month unitasker. Less, actually, because you can’t use it until the baby can hold his or her head up, and that shaves off a couple of months on the other end. I’m with 49. There’s a reason that babies can’t sit up by themselves before then. Might as well go with it.

  17. darkclawsofchaos says:

    the baby in the chair playing with the rope was dangerous because of the chair, and not the rope? I mean true, the rope is probably lead free, but that doesn’t mean its any safer than a lead coated action figure!

  18. willray411 says:

    If they recalled stupid parents, it would cut down recalls overall by 90%.

  19. amoeba says:

    @Elvisisdead: I am not interesting baby sitting little brats. Why do you think I don’t have children? I don’t like them. So, keep your comments to yourself. K Bye!

  20. amoeba says:

    @Elvisisdead: BTW I had never mention this chair as Potty Training, so learn to read also.

  21. I don’t think she uses it anymore, but I told my sister about this right away. Ironically, I have a picture of my nephew doing some Bumbo acrobatics: He was always too chunky to get out on his own, and now I think too big to fit in it anymore, but yes, babies are wormy little creatures.

  22. armour says:

    we had one and it was used properly. as some one eilse pointed out it’s not a restraint. Some of thse people should not be alowed to breed. whats next a fork and a outlet is faulty because you left your kids to play near it and they got hurt?

  23. homerjay says:

    I’m embarassed to say that my brother and his wife are guilty of being ‘those people.’ They’ve used this thing on their kitchen counter for a couple years (through two kids- not using it with a 2 year old).

    There’s no talkin to them.

  24. Bizdady says:

    My girlfriend is expecting and was looking to buy this along with hundreds of dollars of other useless crap. Had to show this just to get her to change her mind.

  25. rrapynot says:

    The only must haves for a child are a stroller, car seat, crib and a high chair. Eveyone else I know who has a kid has a house full of plastic clutter.

  26. Elvisisdead says:

    @amoeba: I’d guess your icon says enough to explain your situation. Add your tone, and it’s a no-brainer.

    Hmmm. Apologies I guess? My response to your irrelevant comment must have been a misunderstanding.

    See, and that only took one post.

  27. alhypo says:

    Who the hell puts their baby on the counter? I don’t care what sort of child containment device you have, putting a kid on the counter is a bad idea. How many times have you accidentally knocked something off the counter? Now what if one of those things was a baby? You’d probably be disappointed with yourself or try to blame someone else for your negligence.

  28. Trauma_Hound says:

    I notice the stupid new program didn’t point out how incredibly stupid these parents were for putting their child up on a counter. I have a kid, I would never think about doing something like that. Stupid parents.

  29. lychnismint says:

    A tv new team did a story about this a month ago. url=http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=7…&id=5664881
    The box says to use the Bumbo on any level surface and talks it being perfect for eye level feeding. To most people, eye level feeding would be with the baby on a chair.
    The Bumbo website originally had pictures of “babies on top of a picnic table even playing the piano.”
    Bumbo was promoting the seat to use anywhere while covering themselves with a microscopic warning about only using the seat on the ground.

  30. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

    @warf0x0r:
    Wow — that’s hateful. I mean, the Darwin Awards are one thing, because they make fun of stupid adults. But we’re talking about babies here.

  31. inelegy says:

    If only there was something we could do about all this pesky gravity . . .

  32. backbroken says:

    No mention of whether or not it is safe to use on the roof of a moving car?

  33. no.no.notorious says:

    man, i totally can’t fit this on my lap (much less with a child in it) while i’m driving my pick up truck. why is this on the market?! therefore, i’ve decided this is sooooo not safe under any circumstance.

  34. marsneedsrabbits says:

    Have one, loved it, gonna hold on to it for the next one.
    Never sat it on the table, the countertop, or suspended the baby over an open fire pit whilst in it, though.
    The fact that we’re not complete idiots probably helped.

  35. jaya9581 says:

    I’m sort of surprised that no one’s brought this up yet…

    Having worked at a retailer who sells this seat, here’s a few key points:
    1. It’s designed specifically for children who can *hold their heads up* but cannot yet *sit up on their own*. For most children, this is between the approximate ages of four and six months, meaning no, you will not get much use out of it.
    2. You should *never* leave a child unattended. It doesn’t matter if you look away “just for a second.” I know everyone does it, but that’s when bad things happen. That’s not to say they can’t happen while you’re watching – but if you aren’t watching your child, it’s always good to have a scapegoat to blame her injuries on (at least according to the people in the video).
    3. It hurts me how many people don’t understand this, but once a child reaches certain milestones, they should not be permitted to continue to use certain items. Once babies can pull themselves into a sitting position, they should no longer be placed in bouncy seats, swings, BUMBO SEATS, or any other item that they could potentially fall from and get hurt.

    The Bumbo seat is designed, as I stated, specifically for children who can hold up their own heads but not yet sit on their own. Once they can sit, they should no longer be placed in this seat. And, under no circumstances, should it ever be placed anywhere but on the floor.

  36. donnie5 says:

    Umm…we have one, there is a warning on the back of the seat that states:
    Do not leave child unattended, do not put on raised surface. This is not to be used as a car seat…
    So if you cannot read the red sticker on the back of the bumbo, you should not own one.

  37. allthatsevil says:

    My sister was recently given one of these for her 7 month old daughter, and she and my mother have been raving about it. Last weekend my family went out to eat, they brought it with them and put her in it on the table. It’s annoying enough having a baby in the middle of the table grabbing everything within reach, but then she started spazzing out and almost threw herself out of the chair. It was alarming and I really wanted to smack my sister upside the head for it.

    What makes matters worse is that they have hard-wood floors at home, and my niece has a particularly large head. I’m surprised she hasn’t hurt herself already. But it doesn’t surprise me that my sister is one of ‘those’ people. I always felt like she should be removed from the gene pool, and now it’s too late.

  38. mkmead says:

    I have a daughter this exact same age and seriously wtf are these people thinking putting a child on a counter unsupervised for even 1 sec.. sigh.. I feel bad for the kids because of the parents stupidity.

  39. moosetoga says:

    Do people think these baby seats are made out of magic fairy plastic? Haven’t they felt their kids try and wriggle out of their arms when they see something they want to try and grab? Why do they think these seats, which don’t have any form of restraints built into them, would prevent their kids from lunging out of them when they saw something bright and shiny?

    Seriously, people.

  40. Dancing Milkcarton says:

    My wife and I are expecting #2 and were looking at these… I was concerned until I watched the video. Hey, dummy, don’t put your baby on top of a table or countertop. WTF? Not the fault of the seat.

  41. quagmire0 says:

    It’s not completely useless – it really depends on the child. We originally were not going to buy one and returned the first one we received as a present. Later we ended up buying one. It’s very handy for when you need to keep baby off their back for a little while (our daughter has dermatitis on the back of her head, so we need time for the medicine to kick in and holding her usually results in the medicine coming off on our clothes).

    As previous posters have mentioned though, it’s NOT a restraint and it’s never meant to be used unsupervised.

  42. Groovymarlin says:

    @jaya9581:
    Thank you! Those videos they showed on Good Morning Amerca were so deceptive. As you say, the Bumbo should only be used by an infant who can’t climb out of it. Different babies reach that developmental milestone at different ages! The baby on the patio table “playing with a rope” in that video was obviously way too big to be in a Bumbo to begin with! Even a tinier baby who is strong enough to pull himself out of the Bumbo does not belong in one. If parents continue to put a baby strong enough to climb out into a Bumbo, they’re just being lazy. And the seat does specifically warn people not to put it on a high surface. Parents who do so (like the first family featured) are both lazy and stupid!

    We had a Bumbo and my daughter got plenty of use out of it from about 3 to 6 months of age. After she was able to sit up on her own and climb around more, we stopped using it. And for God’s sake, we NEVER put it on top of a table or counter top!

  43. lordmaxwel says:

    And these must be the same parents who are accidently overdosing their baby as they cannot read instruction labels on cough/cold medicine.

  44. Echodork says:

    We’ve had one of these forever… greatest invention known to man. Yes, you actually have to keep half an eye on your child if she’s older than about seven months, because the seat isn’t coated with superglue. But seriously. Be a parent.

  45. kenposan says:

    My wife and I got Bumbos for our twins (now 2 years old) and they were awesome. If I recall correctly, there was a warning on the bottom about not using it on a raised surface. I remember joking with my wife about how stupid people had they had to be warned about this.

  46. FISHYOUTAH2O says:

    My nephew had a bumbo he no longer needs it now. But it worked great when my brother and his wife would come to visit. My parents dont have a high chair and never got one cause my borther dosent visit often. Anyway we used when feeding him his soild foods. He was never left alone in it. Once in a while he would start to try to get out since we were right there we would take him out before we would hurt him self. I feel it is very usefull if you are going to be responsible about it.

  47. amcb says:

    i saw one of these at kohls a week ago, and the picture on the box had a kid sitting on a table in the seat.

    it may have been older packaging though.

  48. remedies says:

    we were just talking about ‘bumbo’ in one of my history classes- it’s old-timey slang for booze. so this ‘bumbo baby seat’ is not what i was imagining…bit of a disappointment, really.

  49. @lychnismint: I don’t doubt it, despite that your link doesn’t work.

    Just search Flickr for “Bumbo” and you’ll learn two things:
    1) About 99% of all babies in the world are very, very ugly.
    2) A lot of parents put the Bumbo on “elevated surfaces.”
    There must have been some early marketing from the Bumbo company that included putting the product on chairs or tables, which would have caused this to seem appropriate to so many people. Is the company to blame? Probably not. But it also doesn’t mean that all these parents are horrible people. That is, now that they’ve learned their lesson and a recall has been issued, anyone who continues to do so beyond this point is fair game to be labeled a bad parent.