Bumbo chairs aren’t safe for US and Canadian kids, but are OK for UK babies

16 August 2012

bumboIf you don’t know what a Bumbo is you probably don’t have a child under the age of 8. And if you don’t have children but do know what a Bumbo is, your neighbours probably ought to report you.

In simple terms, a Bumbo is a moulded foam child seat that looks like a potty but is actually a chair for small babies who cannot otherwise sit unaided. Now, the Bumbo International Trust in South Africa is recalling over 4 million of these seats in the US and Canada over safety issues.

However, no recall on UK and European models has been made. And we wondered why. We feel there are two ways of reporting this story- it’s a bit like a choose your own adventure book…

The Daily Fail way

UK babies must have harder skulls than our North American friends. This is the only explanation for why the Bumbo International Trust has seen fit to recall 4.3m child seats in America, but allows UK babies to continue using a product that could cause injury and skull fractures.

That’s right. Since 2007, there have been at least 50 reported U.S. incidents in which babies fell while the moulded-foam seat was on a raised surface. Nineteen of the incidents included skull fractures, according to the company and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and there were another 34 incidents where infants were hurt while sat on a floor or an unknown elevation. Two babies suffered fractured skulls.

US and Canadian consumers have been advised to stop using the product until they install a free repair kit, which includes a restraint belt and a new warning sticker, and never use the Bumbo seat on an elevated surface. UK babies, on the other hand, have to fend for their own tiny selves, risking severe injury at every turn.

We think this is disgraceful and that someone should do something about it while we grumble loudly. Won’t someone please think of the children?

The other way

If you leave a child unattended in a high place, chances are it could fall off said high place and hurt itself. If a baby lands on its head, it may well fracture its fragile skull. Unfortunately, this requires a recall of parents, rather than a recall of an inanimate plastic seat.

In the US, around 1 million Bumbo seats were recalled in October 2007 so that the packaging could be changes to provide more warnings against use on raised surfaces. The current Bumbo seat has several warning labels on the back. Seats made since 2008 have another label on the front warning against use on raised surfaces. However, it appears most Americans can’t read and have no common sense.

Despite the multiple injuries suffered by American kids, only five incidents have been reported in Canada, resulting in just three minor injuries, according to Health Canada. Despite the fact that the same type of seat is sold in both the US and Canada, we can only conclude that US Bumbo models are way less safe that Canadian seats and that it has nothing to do with the parent operating the seat. Far easier to recall millions of child seats than to educate a nation.

So there you have it. You can either demand a seatbelt and warning sticker for your plastic seat, or you can decide not to leave your baby on top of something high while you go and do something else. Your call.

TOPICS:   Recalls   Travel


  • David
    "Hello, McFly..." I wonder if the parents had bimbo chairs.
  • Ricky
    So don't put your baby on a raised surface. Common sense people.
  • Worried P.
    Or Americans cant hold onto their sprogs because their fingers are so fat and podgy they cant help but keep dropping them on the floor, then when having to explain why said baby has bashed his scull in at the local A & E they blame it on the Bumbo.
  • Julian A.
    Well they banned Kinder Eggs in the US as well, probably because the fat fuckers tried to eat them whole, Stupid fat cunts
  • Freedom !.
    Maybe if they just jammed them in between the top of the wardrobe and the ceiling this sort of thing wouldn't happen. It's common sense really. Another example of why the "Greatest Nation on Earth" is seen as just a bunch of uneducated muppets by the rest of the planet.
  • oliverreed
    These seats work well for about a month. You'll notice your child is ready to start / if not sitting up already. You buy a Bumbo. A fortnight later your child grows a touch and you can't fit their thighs in the fucking things. That's it - American children are too fat to fit in them in the first place - now it makes sense.
  • Chewbacca
    Does anyone remember the Bimbo comics/annual? Literally seconds of mirth.
  • jt
    When are they going to recall these bloody dangerous ladders? I keep putting my child on top of the one I bought and he keeps falling off and fracturing his skull. As for the bucket of nails I have placed underneath the ladder to break his fall in case of an accident, well, that seems to be no use at all and should probably come with some kind of safety warning. Fortunately we are on holiday now and away from those dangerous items. The children are enjoying a nice paddle around the bay on the cheap inflatable air bed I bought them. If I stood up I could probably see them from here.
  • Angry R.
    I once used one as a helmet - got my head stuck and had to have it removed by the fire service. They should be banned, or at least warning signs put on them. I've spoken to Weloveclaimingcozweneedanew3dtelly.com and they reckon I've got a good case.
  • Kevin N.
    I left my child in one of these on the kitchen worktop. He then climbed out. I stopped doing that and left it on the floor. I should of just sued those mother fuckers.
  • Jade
    what kind of dingbat would sit their baby in one of these on a raised surface anyway!?
  • Me
    Such a bullshit. My two kids have used this chair and if you put them on the floor ( do you see that stupid Americans?) The chances of them to fracture their skull are almost nil!
  • Me
    WOW I finally posted something without my trademark.... CUNTS!
  • Tina
    I looked on You Tube and saw loads of children in bumbo's falling off tables, kitchen worktops, tops of wardrobes, It was absolutely hilarious, please don't ban these ingenious and entertaining items.
  • Dawn
    Americans are dumb kunts, they let their kid's drown in pools year in year out, they leave them in their cars to bake to death year in year out!
  • Chewbacca
    UK babies are now mostly sand niggas. Fuck 'em if they break their necks. Less benefits to pay in the future.
  • ShakesHeadSadly
    @jt - The was the funniest think I've ever read on bitterwallet. In factm that's the only funny thing I've read on bitterwallet. Either way, +2 internets to you sir. As for Bumbo's, no self respecting parent would use them anyway as studies have shown they can restrict a childs growth and development. Yes. I'm a parent and I read. What will the Daily Mail say???
  • A P.
    I put my son in one when we are in the pub, only problem he falls out when he's had too many stella
  • mike
    Do we need a warning sticker on cars too? excessive speed can cause death? or perhaps a warning sticker that says don't drive up a mountain as it may tumble down also? Americans need more common sense.
  • Ian
    Child seating is an important consideration for all parents, its widely reported that high chairs can also be particularly dangerous. Reuters news reported in December 2013 that on average a child in the US ends up in hospital every hour due to a high chair related accident, it would be interesting to see if the numbers are also high in the UK. In my opinion one of the safer ways to leave a child in a chair is for them to be on a children's beanbag as they are low level and are very soft.

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