Several months ago, baby product manufacturer Graco recalled 4.2 million toddler safety seats for one simple reason: The design of the buckles installed in the seats was defective. The company denies that the buckles pose a safety risk, but the company recalled the affected seats when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration insisted that the defect could increase the risk of harm to children in emergency situations.
Essentially, the buckles tend to stick. This defect makes it difficult to remove a child from his or her safety seat. Some parents reported being forced to cut their children out of the seats when the buckles refused to budge. It is not difficult to imagine how dangerous this scenario would be in an emergency.
Graco initially refused to recall 1.9 million infant seats of a different model but manufactured with the same buckle design. The company argued that because parents can remove the entire seat from its base in an emergency that the stuck buckle design does not present a risk of harm. However, one can imagine a parent needing desperately to remove an infant who is choking, seizing or otherwise in distress from its safety seat immediately and not being able to get the child’s buckle undone.
Thankfully, Graco has finally changed its tune and has initiated a recall for the 1.9 million infant seats affected by the defective buckle design. It took a great deal of regulatory pressure and public outcry to reach this point, but thankfully the safety hazard is finally being addressed. Parents, please check online to see whether your infant’s safety seat is affected by this recall.
Source: Tech Times, “Graco recalls 1.9 million infant car seats due to harness buckles issue,” Lori Sandoval, July 2, 2014