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Baby Beware: 4 Child-Product Problems to Cry Over

Fred Goldstein / Shutterstock.com

If parents have a superpower, it’s the ability to see disaster for their children at every turn, to envision every situation’s worst-case scenario. But even the most anxious moms and dads never suspect the strollers, car seats and cribs they buy could pose a danger. That is what makes recalls of baby products like the Bumbo Seat so unnerving.

About 4 million Bumbo Baby Seats — a $30 molded chair that helps babies sit upright before they are able to on their own — were recalled earlier this week for risk of serious injuries to infants that fall or maneuver out of them, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The agency and manufacturer Bumbo International said it was aware of 84 injuries, including 21 skull fractures. Affected consumers can order a free restraint to repair the seats and should stop using the product until it is installed, says Kim Dulic, a spokeswoman for the CPSC. It’s not the first time reports have surfaced about infants falling out of Bumbo seats. In 2007, the company voluntarily recalled 1 million seats to add warnings on them against use on elevated surfaces. (At the time, the government had received 28 reports of children falling out of seats that had been placed on tables.)

Bumbo says seats currently available for sale already include the restraint, as well as stronger warning stickers against using the seat on raised surfaces or without adult supervision. “We’re committed to ensuring the safety of all children who use the seat,” a spokesman says.

As popular as Bumbo seats are, the injuries are barely a footnote when it comes to injuries linked to baby products. During 2010, 81,700 children under age 5 received emergency-room treatment as a result of a nursery-product injury, according to the latest data from the CPSC. That’s up 5.6% from 2009. Another 89,200 children in that age group were in the ER for toy-related injuries, down 1.5% from the previous year.

Although those numbers are unlikely ever to be low enough for parents, consumer advocates say evolving government standards are helping to diminish the number of injuries among young children. “There have been huge strides made,” says Rachel Weintraub, the director of product safety for the Consumer Federation of America. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 required that toys and infant products pass a set of mandatory standards before they are sold. The rule led to new guidelines for cribs, play yards, bath seats and other infant products. “Our crib standards are now the strongest in the world,” says Dulic.

But there’s still plenty of reason for parents to exercise caution. Innovative products like the Bumbo that don’t fit neatly into one product category (say, strollers or infant carriers) don’t have federal or industry safety standards to test against, says Nancy Cowles, executive director of Kids in Danger, a safety-focused nonprofit. Even in big product categories that have safety standards, it can take months, even years, for enough injuries to occur to trigger a recall. Plus, just 20% of recalled products typically make it back to the manufacturer, so hand-me-downs or yard-sale fare could well include recalled products.

Experts suggest parents use the CPSC’s app to check for recalls before buying a secondhand infant product and visit SaferProducts.gov for consumer-reported risks on anything new. Once the product is home, register it with the manufacturer. “Consumers need to know when a product they own has been recalled, and this is the best way to do that,” says Weintraub.

Experts say parents should exercise special caution when purchasing these four types of baby products:

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    • By WebOsPublisher

      Icon Field Armor Vest Has anyone used this? I want to ask about fitting since they only have two sizes for it. I’m 5’5",about 130,chest 38"
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      Anyone used Icon Field Armor Vest? – CBR Forum – Enthusiast forums for Honda CBR Owners
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      #1
      03-12-2008, 12:01 PM
      RzAdBaNdiT
      Junior Member
      Join Date: Feb 2008
      Posts: 22
      Anyone used Icon Field Armor Vest?
      Icon Field Armor Vest
      Has anyone used this? I want to ask about fitting since they only have two sizes for it. I’m 5’5", about 130, chest 38" shoulders ~20….i like long walks on the beach and … i digress,
      I just don’t want it fitting loosely or being uncomfortable so I thought i’d ask some recommendations
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      #2
      03-12-2008, 12:18 PM
      Ty
      Join Date: Aug 2007
      Location:
      Posts: 251
      RE: Anyone used Icon Field Armor Vest?
      Seems to fit Jessica Maine pretty good, wonder what her chest size is? Or if she likes long walks on the beach…..
      __________________
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      #3
      03-12-2008, 12:21 PM
      $CRASH$
      Junior Member
      Join Date: Feb 2008
      Location: Edmonton, Alberta
      Posts: 19
      RE: Anyone used Icon Field Armor Vest?
      Hey hows it goin? I have all the icon feild armor gear, Vest, boots, elbow and knee pads! Probably one of the best investments you can make. Gear is designed to fit under your clothes and jacket, Its light weight, and durable. I’m 5’11" 160lbs and I wear the regular size feild armor vest, It fits nice and snug, with very little play.I crashed last year with my feild armor vest and if it was’nt for the vest my back would be ground beef right now, held up way better than expected, plus i’m still using it today. I love my feild armour gear and recomened it to anyone looking for protection! Hope this helps, if you have anymore Questions about the feild armour just hit me up!
      __________________
      "Your Not Truely Livin Life..Unless Your Livin Life On The Edge..So Ride It Like You Stole It..UP ON 1"
      $CRASH$
      #4
      03-13-2008, 11:30 AM
      03-13-2008, 11:30 AM
      Bumble Bee
      Join Date: Sep 2007
      Location:
      Posts: 1,321
      RE: Anyone used Icon Field Armor Vest?
      I don’t know about the vest, but I have a the Field armor knee and shine pads and they are great! I bit on the hight priced side, but you only get one body so protect it well.
      __________________
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      Tags
      armor, back, elbow, feildarmorcom, field, forum, forums, icon, knee, motorcycle, photo, protector, review, sale, vest, wear, wearing
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    • Nice work, Thanks

    • I used the same drop-side crib for all 5 of my children and had no problems. My mom used her drop-side crib for all 5 of us. No injuries. Each was well made. If a drop-side crib could be safely designed and manufactured in the 50′s and 80′s, you’d think, with all of our technological advances, they could be made in the 21st century. Well, of course they could, but that’s not the problem. It really comes down to a lack of integrity with the companies that designed, manufactured and sold cribs that harmed the children.

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