August was not a good month for infant and toddler seats. About 4 million Bumbo Baby Seats were recalled—for the second time—due to a fall hazard and reports of at least 84 injuries. Then, at the end of the month, Summer Infant, Inc. issued a voluntarily recall of 2 million Mother’s Touch/Deluxe Baby Bathers. Again, the recall was due to a fall hazard.
The Baby Bather recall was initiated after the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the manufacturer received seven reports of fall incidents in the United States, with the infants sustaining head injuries, including a skull fracture. According to the recall information, the fall hazard may occur when the bather is lifted or carried with an infant in it. In this circumstance, the wire frame of the bather can disengage from the side hinge, causing the infant to fall. Consumers are being told to immediately stop using the bathers and contact the manufacturer for a free repair kit that includes a locking strap and instructions. Even with this modification, however, the baby bather product should never be used to lift and carry an infant.
Sounds a lot like the “fix” that was offered for the Bumbo Baby Seat—a new safety belt with additional warnings about appropriate use of the product. Regardless of the solutions that manufacturers offer in these situations, both recalls should send a clear message to parents that there is simply no substitute for caution and close supervision when using any infant or toddler product. It should also be a reminder that common sense is crucial when using any infant or child product. They can be great aids for parents, but they shouldn’t be pushed beyond their normal purposes.
About the Editors: The Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, which has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC). The attorneys publish articles and edit the Legal Examiner for the Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Northeast North Carolina regions as pro bono service.