Reader Andrew D. emailed us this story about his daughter and the BOB Revolution stroller:
We are asking all of you to forward this message to family and friends with small children. On Saturday we discovered firsthand the very grave dangers associated with the 2007 BOB Revolution Jogging Stroller.
We were enjoying a family dinner as our daughter sat next to the table in her 2007 BOB Revolution Jogging Stroller. While engaging in idle discourse with family, my niece screamed out, “Lily’s choking!” You can only imagine our panic and utter fright to witness our daughter turn a shade of deep purple as she struggled to draw a breath. Our daughter Lily choked on the red ring affixed to the end of the harness strap. This ring prevented all oxygen entering her lungs until the ring was successfully removed from my five-month-old daughter’s throat. Thankfully, the incident lasted no more than 15 seconds, but as new parents the episode felt like an eternity. We shudder to think how severely our lives could have been altered if we were out for a walk instead of enjoying a dinner with our family. Neither of us may have realized there was a problem until it was far too late.
During Shannon’s pregnancy, we researched an endless array of jogging strollers in attempt to find the safest and best-regarded jogger on the market. After our deliberations, we chose the 2007 BOB Revolution Jogging Stroller based on product reviews and feedback from other parents. When we returned home, we consulted the owner’s manual to see if we had put our daughter at risk by ignoring the safety standards outlined in the manual. After reviewing the document, the recommended ages are eight weeks and older for general use of the stroller, and eight months and older for jogging and off-road use.
After Saturday evening’s incident, we contacted BOB (Beast of Burden) to alert them of a potential safety hazard with one of the manufacturer’s marquee products. We left a message with the general customer service voicemail, sent an email via BOB’s website, and left a message with Roger Malinowski, founder of Beast of Burden. On Monday afternoon, Michael Baughman, engineer for BOB, contacted me to discuss the incident. Before conversing with Mr. Baughman, I expressed how Shannon and I During my phone conversation with Mr. Baughman, I was probed as to the circumstances surrounding the event. After recounting the ordeal, Mr. Baughman mentioned our use of the product, my daughter’s use of the product, or the environment in which we used the product was probably the cause of the incident. After all, Mr. Baughman assured me, “We design our products to meet ASTM safety standards (which includes the CPSC chocking hazard test) and have had our strollers tested by an independent lab to ensure they meet these standards.” On account of the absurdity of this discourse, I asked Mr. Baughman if he would agree the size of the red rings on the harness straps closely resemble the size of a quarter. Mr. Baughman informed me he could not confirm the size of a quarter, but his red rings are 1.4” wide. I measured the size of a quarter for the engineer; a quarter is 1” wide (a mere four-tenths of an inch difference in size). I asked Mr. Baughman if he had ever heard of a child choking on a quarter. The engineer informed me he had never heard of such an incident; however, he once heard a child swallowed a quarter. We can conclude, therefore, an object slightly larger than a quarter (the red rings) can lodge in the throat of a child as opposed being completely swallowed.
BOB has offered a full refund for the jogging stroller and they have asked us to cease use of the product immediately. Furthermore, Mr. Baughman informed us: “I will have our customer service department get in touch with you to arrange for the return of the product. This will allow us to further investigate this issue and analyze this particular stroller for any possible manufacturing defect that may have contributed to this situation.” Truly, there must be a defect with this particular stroller, and not a design flaw with the entire line of strollers. I have expressed to Beast of Burden, we will gladly return this product without hesitation. We could care less about the refund. In fact, our first concern is protecting the health and safety of our beloved daughter. We also want to inform all our family and friends so you too can protect your children.
We have attached pictures for you to draw your own conclusions. We are petrified to place Lily in this stroller, so a stunt-lamb is in her place. Please observe there are three of these rings dangling in front of the occupant. I have also included a picture of the ring alongside a genuine USofA quarter.
Beast of Burden has received our assurances that we will be filing a complaint immediately with the Consumer Product Safety Commission regarding this reckless and hazardous product. Finally, we will continue to leave the worst product ratings possible on this stroller at every consumer site until the rings on this stroller are modified to ensure the safety of our children.
Thank you for taking the time to read through this diatribe, and we encourage you to share this information with all your family and friends with small children.
All the best,
Follow-up from Alan & Denise Fields, authors BABY BARGAINS: We met with BOB at a recent trade show and discussed this incident. BOB stands by their response and notes that they asked for this stroller to be returned so they could inspect it (at BOB’s expense; the company also offered a complete refund). As of this writing, the consumer has chosen not to return it. We have not heard of any further reports of incidents like this and will continue to recommend BOB as an excellent stroller brand.