2007-11-15 / Editorial Page

Consumers get answers from Georgia Department of Agriculture

Prepared by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Office of Public Affairs Tommy Irvin, Commissioner. Call Consumer Q's hotline at 1-800- 282-5852.

Consumer Alert/Recall: Serious Head Injuries Prompt Recall of Bumbo Baby Sitter Seats - New warning and instructions to be provided to consumers.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. Name of product: Bumbo "Baby Sitter" seats; Units: About 1 million; Manufacturer: Bumbo International, of South Africa; Hazard: If the seat is placed on a table, countertop, chair or other elevated surface, young children can arch their backs, flip out of the Bumbo seat, and fall onto the floor, posing a risk of serious head injuries; Incidents/Injuries: CPSC has received 28 reports of young children falling out of the Bumbo Baby Sitter seat, including three skull fractures, which occurred when children fell out of chairs that had been placed on tables; Description: The bottom of the children's seat is round and flat with a diameter of about 15 inches. It is constructed of a single piece of molded foam and comes in yellow, blue, purple, pink, aqua and lime green. The seat has leg holes and seat back that wraps completely around the child. On the front of the seat in raised lettering is the word "Bumbo" with the image of an elephant on top. The bottom of the seat has the following words: "Manufactured by Bumbo South Africa Material: Polyurethane World Patent No. PCT:ZA/ 1999/00030." The back of the seat contains the following "WARNING" - "Never use on a raised surface. Never use as a car seat or bath seat. Designed for floor level use only. Never leave your baby unattended as the seat is not designed to be totally restrictive and may not prevent release of your baby in the event of vigorous movement." Sold by: Target, Wal- Mart, Sears, Toys R Us, Babies R Us, USA Babies and various other toy and children's stores nationwide, and various online sellers, from August 2003 through October 2007 for about $40; Manufactured in: South Africa; Remedy: Consumers should never use the infant seat on a table, countertop, chair or other elevated surface. Consumers can contact Bumbo to obtain new warning label stickers and instructions, free of charge. The new warning label will state: "WARNING - Prevent falls; never use on any elevated surface." Consumers should use the Bumbo seat at ground level, but should never leave a child unattended; Consumer contact: Contact Bumbo International at 877-932- 8626 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm's website at www.bumbosafety.com.

Regional reminders

.. Dig tender bulbs: Wait until the tops are browned by frost, then dig up dahilias, gladioli and other bulbs that need winter protection. Allow roots/bulbs to dry, then brush off excess soil and store in peat moss or vermiculite in a cool, frost-free, dark place.

.. Pot up herbs to bring indoors: Dig up a few parsley, sage and thyme plants and pot them up to bring indoors. Placed on a sunny windowsill and watered regularly, the plants should flourish for several months, if not all winter.

.. Mow lawn: Continue to mow the lawn as necessary into fall until growth ceases. Mow over thin layers of loose, dry leaves to mulch them and allow them to return their nutrients to the soil. Rake up deep piles of wet leaves and add to the compost pile.

.. Remove stakes and trellises: Pull up stakes and take apart trellises for winter storage; they will last longer if not exposed to winter moisture. Brush off excess soil and store in a dry place.

.. Transplant perennials, trees and shrubs: Fall is the best time of year for moving plants. Divide and transplant perennials, and transplant deciduous trees and shrubs when they are dormant.

Q: What is the safest way to thaw a frozen turkey?

A: In the refrigerator is the best way to thaw a frozen turkey, but you must plan ahead. A large frozen turkey requires at least 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds of weight. In other words, it will take about 4 to 5 days to thaw a 20-pound turkey. Using cold water baths is faster than refrigerator thawing, but the turkey will require more attention. It should be placed in a leak-proof packaging or a plastic bag and submerged in cold tap water. The water should be changed every 30 minutes. This method will thaw a 20-pound turkey in about 10 hours or 30 minutes for each pound. If a microwave is used to thaw a turkey, it must be cooked immediately because some areas of the bird may begin to cook during the thawing process. Partially cooked food will allow any bacteria present to grow because it has not reached the temperatures at which the bacteria would be destroyed.

Q: Who regulates amusement rides? A small carnival that has set up rides at my son's high school has me worried. I want to be sure that the rides are safe.

A: The Safety Engineering Section of the Georgia Department of Labor conducts carnival and amusement ride safety inspections. The address is Safety Engineering Section, Georgia Department of Labor, 1700 Century Circle, Suite 100, Atlanta 30345. You can also contact them by telephone at 404-679-0687. If this situation demands immediate attention, contact Tim Mahoney, Amusement Ride Safety Specialist, by telephone at 404-679-0687.

If you have questions or problems with products or services regulated by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, you may write the Office of Consumer Services, Room 224, 19 Martin Luther King Drive, Atlanta 30334 or call 1-800-282-5852.

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