Graco Recalls 3.7 Million Car Seats

In the fourth largest child car seat recall in history, the National Highway traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that Graco is voluntarily recalling 11 child car seats, affecting 3,773,379 units. However, according to the agency, an additional 1.8 million seats should also be recalled.

The NHTSA reports the buckles on these seats may become stuck and not unlatch, a problem Graco attributes to kids eating in the car. Graco spokesperson Ashley Mowrey explained that “food and dried liquids make some harness buckles progressively more difficult to open over time or become stuck in the latched position.”

According to the company’s website, the recall includes model year 2009 through July 2013 for following models:

Toddler Convertible Car Seats

recalled harness buckle

  • Cozy Cline
  • Comfort Sport
  • Classic Ride 50
  • My Ride 65
  • My Ride 70
  • My Ride 65 with Safety Surround
  • Size4Me 70
  • My Size 70
  • Head Wise 70
  • Smart Seat 

Harnessed Booster Child Seats

  • Nautilus 3-in-1
  • Nautilus Elite
  • Argos 

The NHTSA has urged the company to recall its infant seats, but Graco has refused. The Snugride, Snugride 30, Snugride 32, Infant Safe Seat-Step 1, Snugride 35, Tuetonia 35, and Snugride Click Connect 40 all use the same buckle as the recalled models. However Graco officials feel there is no danger since infants in rear-facing seats do not spill food and drinks.

Replacement Buckles

Graco is offering a replacement harness buckle to affected consumers at no cost. Call 1-800-345-4109 or email the company at consumerservices@gracobaby.com for a new buckle. 

Play it safe

Graco feels that parents should continue using the seats until they get a replacement buckle. However, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “encourages parents and caregivers to consider acquiring an alternative car seat for transporting children until their Graco seat is fixed.”

If you must use the car seat, consider traveling with a seat belt cutting device. Any seat belt can become stuck, and in an accident, every second counts. Most belt cutters have a safety blade, allowing you to slice safely through the belt. Some models also include a window breaker, providing an emergency exit if your door becomes stuck and your window won’t work.

Seat belts and child safety seats save countless lives every year, but they can also be prone to manufacturing and design defects or malfunction at times. Taking a few simple steps to ensure safety may save a life and help protect the ones that you love.

 

Source:3.7 million Graco car seats recalled due to buckle issue” by Greg Botelho and Mike Ahlers, CNN, February 12, 2014.

 

Ohio Personal Injury Lawyers: Parents must make sure kids are properly restrained

A new study found that most children are not properly restrained when they ride in vehicles. The Ohio personal injury lawyers of Elk & Elk urge all parents to make sure that their children are properly restrained every time they ride in a vehicle.

One of the most important jobs for any parent is to keep their children safe. A study released this week said that many parents may be failing to do just that each time they get in a vehicle.

The study published Tuesday in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that the majority of U.S. kids do not sit safely in cars, either because they are not properly restrained in car seats or booster seats, or because they sit in the front seat.

Researchers at the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, analyzed data from past studies that tracked children’s seating in cars at public sites such as restaurants, child care centers and gas stations. They observed nearly 22,000 children and found that only 3 percent of children ages 1-3 who were restrained were sititing in a proper, rear-facing car seat. And only 10 percent of 8- to 10-year-old children were properly restrained in a booster seat or car seat.

Some experts say confusion about child seat laws may be partially to blame. Child seat laws vary from state to state, and most state laws aren’t as strict as the recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Under current Ohio law:

–          Infants should ride rear-facing in an infant-only or convertible seat until they are at least 1 year old and at least 20 pounds.

–          Children less than 4 years old or 40 pounds must use a child safety seat.

–          Children less than 8 years old, unless they are at least 57 inches tall, must use a booster seat

The latest AAP recommendations say that until age 2, children should sit in rear-facing seats, and children over 2 should sit in front-facing seats with harnesses until their weight and height exceeds the car seat’s capacity. Then, a booster seat should still be used until a child is 57 inches tall – the average height for an 11-year-old. They recommend that children shouldn’t sit in the front seat until they’re 13. Click here to read more from the AAP on child seat safety.

Common mistakes included that children over age 7 were seldom seated in a booster seat (only 2 percent of kids used a booster seat), and that by ages 8 to 10, 25 percent of kids were already sitting in the front seat.

Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children older than 3 and more than 140,000 children go to emergency rooms annually as a result of car accidents. But properly seating a child in a car seat or booster seat greatly reduces the risk of injury or death. According to the Centers for Disease Control, child safety seats reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by 71% for infants, and by 54% for toddlers ages 1 to 4 years. According to researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, for children 4 to 7 years, booster seats reduce injury risk by 59% compared to seat belts.

The personal injury lawyers of Elk & Elk urge all parents, grandparents or anyone else who transports children to make sure that they follow all laws and guidelines for properly restraining children every time they get in the car. It is up to each parent to decide whether they want to just follow the restrictions enforced by law, or if they want to abide by the stricter suggestions from the AAP. Also, make sure you wear your seat belt every time you get in the car. This sets a good example for your children and shows that you are concerned about and value safety.

Don’t let your child become a statistic.