Friday, February 1st, 2008
New Warnings! Caution! Danger! Bumbo Alert! Meep! Meep!
What could be crazier than parents placing their babies in strapless unsecured Bumbo seats on tables and kitchen counters in direct violation of the product’s safety instructions?
Easy answer. Doing the exact same thing in direct violation of Bumbo’s new and improved safety sticker! Brilliant!
Okay, some of this is old news. The Bumbo was recalled last September because parents were ignoring safety warnings. You know, warnings on the box and in the printed instructions. They placed their babes on elevated surfaces, and then the babies crawled or tipped themselves out of the seat and hurt themselves.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s definition of “recall” is pretty broad these days. In this case, a recall means existing owners keep their Bumbo and can ask to be sent a warning sticker and informational leaflet.
The sticker reads, “Warning — Prevent falls: Never use on an elevated surface.” And I’ll admit, a sticker will help future parents who buy used Bumbo seats, so long as the sticker remains in good shape. Why not embed the warning, permanently engraving it into the plastic of the seat itself?
But no,the chosen solution is stickers. But what sticker, exactly? Check out these two below:
First, ask yourself, at what point does a sticker go from providing safety advice to mocking the user’s stupidity?
If I read Bumbo International’s recall page
correctly, it seems the company has opted to simply make a
bigger, wordier sticker. (The ones with red lettering above are intended for consumers who want to print their own at home.) The wordier one on the right is a new and improved version I
presume (it’s not clearly explained) will be included in new Bumbo shipments, or maybe it’s
available only online for overly cautious parents?
Updated Warning: What follows is an expressed viewpoint that probably runs counter to your own deeply held opinion, especially if you own a Bumbo. If you are not comfortable with reading dissenting viewpoints, stop reading now.
Personally, I’ll never use a Bumbo. During feeding, I want my baby held held. During non-feeding awake times, I want my baby held, or lying on his stomach on the floor. It’s called tummy time. It helps your baby work on his developmental milestones â€” lifting his head, turning over, doing baby push ups, crawling and sitting up unassisted. I can always use a play mat, or play pen if I want to stick my baby somewhere while I do some work next to him in clear view.
When I first saw the Bumbo, one question kept running through my mind…. “Why? Why on Earth would someone invent this thing? Why would it become popular? Sure, it makes for a cute photo or two, but my God, it seems so… unnatural.”
I invite Bumbo owners to share with me their thought process in buying and using a Bumbo and the perceived benefits it has brought. If I don’t respond to every comment, don’t read anything into it. My philosophy is that I’ve had my say in this article and the comment form is your chance to have your say.