Safety Recalls for Dummies?

My little assistant

There’s a lot of news today about the infamous Bumbo seat being recalled. On the one hand, I’m glad they’re adding a safety restraint, but let’s be real here. The babies who fell out were not being watched. DON’T USE A BUMBO CHAIR AS A BABYSITTER. I mean, look at the thing. It helps non-sitting babies sit up. The legholes give them perfect leverage to straighten out and fling themselves backward, and even babies who sit well, pitch forward very easily.  As tempting as it is, don’t put it on a raised surface like a table or counter. Don’t put it anywhere you wouldn’t put a baby WITHOUT a Bumbo. Accidents happen, especially when you’re tired, but some things are just common sense.

I have never loved them for infants, personally. I have a client who brings hers in the shower and her toddler sits in it and they shower together – awesome. But for infants, the only purpose I see is having them sit, supported and closely supervised, on the floor, with you right there next to them, until they’re big enough to stretch out of them. The photo at left was taken while I was putting together her Exersaucer, and after a few weeks, she was so strong she’d try to fling herself out every time we put her in. Helpful and fun for a few weeks, but short-lived. And her chubbier sister never really used it because her legs were too chunky for the holes. So you might as well save the money and space in your house and just hold them on your lap for all the non-freedom you get out of it.

Anyway, sometimes products get recalled because they’re genuinely unsafe, like a stroller that pinches fingers off, or a crib that heads get stuck in. But sometimes, I feel like they are just being misused – like the video monitor recall a few years ago when kids were strangling themselves on the cords, BECAUSE PEOPLE PUT THEM IN THE CRIBS. That’s not an unsafe product recall, that’s a unsafe PARENT recall.

Or the uproar about ONE baby carrier that got recalled (a bag sling – the thing just LOOKS like a terrible idea) that led to some parents fearing ALL carriers, and the CPSC tightening requirements that put some small, and very SAFE, sling-makers out of business.

Stuff like this leads to rampant fear and parent anxiety, which makes me sad. When you hear about a recall, read the information. Use your brains. Sometimes, you may find that it’s not as scary as you thought.

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