This is our Bumbo seat. We got it for a shower gift before Clara was born. People raved about these seats, and after using it - I did the same. From the time Clara could sit up on her own, this was an awesome place for her to be able to sit and observe the world. She loved it. I loved it - and I still do.
This past week, Bumbos, in their original form, have been recalled. It seems that quite a few babies have fallen out of them and fractured their skulls.
I find this sad and frustrating for the same reason it frustrates most people - because I hate that a product I love is now being seen as unsafe for children, when it has never given me any reason to feel as though my daughter is at risk while using it, and I have every intention of continuing to use it.
What bothers me even more than this recall, however, is the response from the public in regards to this. I have read comments such as the following:
"We should not be blaming the Bumbo seat for parents' negligence"
"It isn't the fault of the Bumbo seat that parents are irresponsible"
"We should be blaming the parents for putting their children at risk, not the Bumbo"
They all basically say the same thing, but the common thread is that despite not wanting to 'blame' the Bumbo seat - people want to blame someone. And in defense of the Bumbo, people are turning around and blaming parents.
My question is this - Why do we insist on placing blame?
This morning my daughter fell out of her toddler bed - she's not completely used to it yet - and conked her head on the floor. We woke up to a loud 'thud' and sudden crying. Should I blame myself for leaving her 'unattended' in her bed at night? Should I blame the bed for... being... too far off the floor??? Too 'fall-off-able'?
It seems as though people have forgotten that sometimes things just happen. Sometimes bad things happen and no one can or should be blamed.
I know of a few people whose babies rolled over - for the first time - right off their parents' bed. I could say it's their 'fault' for putting their babies on an elevated service - which I suppose would be true - but I did the same thing and my daughter has never fallen off of my bed. These parents had no reason to believe their children would fall, because they had never before demonstrated the ability to roll. I could call them 'negligent' I suppose, but why would I want to?
Sometimes children fall - off of beds, out of trees, down stairs - and we can keep them away from these things, or understand that kids fall sometimes. Sometimes children slip out of our grasp in malls or parking lots - and they could get lost, or hurt, or worse - but do we need to blame negligent parents, when this has probably happened to every single one of us? We have a rule that my daughter MUST hold on to someone's hand in a parking lot - and she has only been walking for about 6 months, but in those months she has pulled her hand out of mine countless times - despite my best efforts. I could hold her hand tighter, or not let her walk, I suppose - but I will not feel guilty, or feel like I am a 'negligent' parent.
We make our judgement calls, and in order to give our children any amount of freedom - we will have to take risks. And it's doesn't make sense for us to turn around and judge each other for accidents that could just as easily have happened to any of us.
Kids will get hurt, and it doesn't have to be anyone's 'fault'. Stuff just happens sometimes - it's part of life.