Loving parents try so hard to protect their children, including buying the latest products intended to help protect and support the development of their babies. However, this latest Illinois product recall epitomizes a parent’s worst fears – that the very devices anticipated to promote the well-being of children are the ones that pose risk of injury.
Devastatingly, this nightmare is too often a reality. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in 2010 alone, more than 81,700 children under age 5 received emergency-room treatment as a result of a nursery-safety product injury. Even more terrifying is the fact that this statistic represents a 5.6% increase from 2009.
According to the Lake Forest Lake Bluff Patch, a news report out of the Chicago suburbs, four million Bumbo baby seats have been recalled this month after almost 90 injuries to infants were reported, including 21 skull fractures. Bumbo baby seats are molded chairs that help babies sit upright before they are able to do so on their own, and sell for approximately $30 at major retail stores such as Target and Babies ‘R’ Us.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the danger posed by these products arises from the fact that the chair does not properly secure the child, and infants can fall maneuver out of the seats.
Moreover, this is not the first time Bumbo seats have posed a danger to children: in 2007, Bumbo voluntarily recalled 1 million seats to add warnings on them against use on elevated surfaces after more than 50 incidents arose in which babies fell from the seat while it was being used on a raised surface, and an additional 34 incidents were reported where babies were injured while using the seat on the floor.
Out of concern for the safety of young children, and in congruence with recommendations by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, our Chicago personal injury attorneys urge those who own a Bumbo chair to stop using it.
At this time Bumbo is offering a free repair kit to the owner of each chair. The kit includes a restraint belt with a warning label, installation instructions, safe use instructions and a warning sticker. Although this is a step in the right direction, the later ameliorations on Bumbo’s part don’t negate injuries that have already occurred.
Illinois product liability law requires that when corporations put a product on the market, those companies are responsible for ensuring that the product is safe for consumer use. This is especially true for companies whose merchandise may have a significant impact on children’s health, safety, and development. When dangerous or defective goods harm consumers, the manufacturer may be liable for the injuries caused and may be legally responsible for damages caused by those injuries. This may give rise to an Illinois personal injury lawsuit.
Just as importantly, Illinois products liability lawsuits also serve to ensure that defective products were removed from the market and prevented from causing any further pain, suffering, and damage to consumers. If you or a loved one have had an incident with a product that caused an injury, or if you are the survivor of someone who may have died from the use or exposure to a dangerous or defective product, contact an attorney to better understand your rights under the law.