Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Trouble With Bumbo: Babies Getting Hurt Too Often

If you’ve been around infant children anytime in the last few years, I am sure that you have at least seen the Bumbo “Baby Sitter” Seat, even if you didn’t know what it was called. The Bumbo seat was designed by Bumbo International to help infants sit upright once they can support their head. Approximately 3.85 million have been sold since hitting the market in August 2003.

The Bumbo seat was voluntarily recalled in October 2007 due to children falling out of it and incurring serious head injuries. At that time, a warning label was added to the seat which warned against using the seat on elevated surfaces such as tabletops and countertops and sofas. The Bumbo seat was designed and marketed for floor level use only, however, parents have consistently used the product on elevated surfaces such as tables, countertops, and chairs. Many parents even use it as a countertop highchair due to its small convenient size.

But the warning label has not been enough to prevent injury. After the warning label was added and parents used the seat only on the floor, reports of injuries continued to come in.

After the 2007 recall, CPSC has reported 45 accidents in which infants have fallen out of the seat while being used on elevated surfaces. 17 of those incidents resulted in skull fractures of infants ranging from 3 to 10 months old. Prior to the recall, the manufacturer is now aware of 46 falls from seats used on elevated surfaces. 14 of these resulted in skull fractures, two concussions, and a broken limb.

The main problem with this seat seems to be the fact that it was not designed to be completely restrictive and it is possible for a child to wiggle out of the Bumbo seat and fall. So even using it on the floor can still result in serious accidents or injury to babies. What happens is that a baby with arch their back which enables them to get their legs free and roll out of the seat. The other scenario is when the baby leans over to the side to reach for an object and the seat flips over with them. Many babies are landing on their heads when either of these scenarios occurs.

In January of 2012, there were 5 additional reports of injuries to babies using the Bumbo seat on the CPSC website for reporting injuries (

If you do want to continue using your Bumbo seat, please keep the following in mind:
  • NEVER use on an elevated surface.
  • NEVER use as a car seat or bath seat.
  • NEVER leave your child unattended.
  • DO NOT USE on hard flooring such as hard wood, concrete or tile.
  • CLEAR the surrounding area of toys so that the baby won’t reach over the side and the toys won’t harm the baby if they fall on the toy.
  • Visit the manufacture’s website at for helpful info. 
  • Contact the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to report incident or injuries from this product at
The Studstill Firm, LLP is dedicated to helping prevent accidents and injuries to children. If you or a loved one has been injured by a product, please let us know about it so we can help spread the word and prevent injuries to others.