Safety Archive

Carseat Click Tip

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Do you have an infant seat that you’re pulling out of storage for another child? If so, flip the bucket over and check out the harness. Some infant seats (and convertibles too!) have 2 harness lengths from which to choose—a newborn setting and a setting for larger infants/toddlers. If you’re like me, as soon as your child is done with the seat, you promptly stick it in the closet and forget about it without adjusting the straps; but, that means that that when you’re ready to use it again for a newborn, it’s set up for a larger child.

The following picture is from a Graco SnugRide manual (but it’s generic enough to work for other carseats) and it shows the 2 different loops where you can attach the harness to the metal splitter plate on the bottom of the carseat. Working on one side at a time, take the harness off the splitter plate and reattach it using the inside loop to shorten the harness. If you have one of the SnugRide models with a higher harness weight (this doesn’t apply to the SR with a 22 lbs. weight limit), you’ll also be able to adjust the harness length at where the leg straps are attached at the back of the seat. Doing this will mean you’ll be able to tighten the harness properly on a noob.

News: Consumer Reports expresses safety concern over certain Cosco HBB with harness models

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This is NOT a recall (at least not at the moment) but we thought our readers would be interested in these findings based on crash testing conducted on behalf of Consumer Reports.  To be clear, their concerns are only related to the use of the Cosco Highback Toddler/Booster seat in harnessed mode. Consumer Reports notes that they witnessed no issues with this same seat in booster mode.  Here at CarseatBlog we have our own issues with this particular seat when used in booster mode – but our concerns are solely related to proper belt fit.

For the full story, please see:  Consumer Reports recommends replacing older Cosco Highback child car seats

And:  The Cosco Highback car seat: How we tested and what we found

Personally, I’m struggling with this one comment:  “Even with the cracking we observed, we believe the car seat would meet federal safety standards.”  I want to say, “Really”???  Grrr…  I’m both annoyed and disappointed at that possibility.

So, what do our savvy and educated blog readers think?  We know you have an opinion!

 

Buying and Selling Used Carseats: Craigslist (CL), Garage Sales, Online, Friends and Family

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Everyone is looking for a deal. I love getting a good deal on things, though I’m terrible at finding deals. Terrible! But, sometimes you have your eye out and catch a good one. With carseats, how can you tell if it’s truly a deal or a dud?

We had a family come through a carseat checkup event that prompted me to think of this. They were the last car—as all techs know, the last car at an event is usually the one that takes the longest, lol. They were a lower income family of 3 children: a 40 lbs. 2 year old, a 20 lbs. 1 year old, and a 14 week old infant. Since they didn’t have much money, mom went to Craigslist to find carseats for her children. She found a backless Cosco booster for her 2 yr old and a Safety 1st combination seat (with a harness that converts to a booster) for her 1 yr old in used condition. Unfortunately, she didn’t understand that carseats can be recalled, missing pieces, or inappropriate for a particular child. A 2 yr old should NEVER go in a belt-positioning booster seat because they don’t have the maturity to sit properly. So while her backless booster choice was appropriate for a 4-5+ year old (and really, for backless boosters, we prefer much older kids in them because of the lack of side protection and for sleeping), it wasn’t good for her 2 year old. The combination seat is an appropriate choice again for an older child: a 1 yr old should still be rear-facing. The 1 yr old’s seat was under a recall and it was missing a top tether and labels. All things that made us gasp under our breaths. But mom and dad didn’t know any better and we were so glad that the family stopped by so we could help them. From what I’ve seen at our mandatory events—parents are pulled over, they don’t willfully come to an event—buying used carseats is commonplace.

Britax recalls 14,220 Chaperone Infant Carseats for potential harness adjuster defects

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On Friday, January 27, 2012, Britax announced a voluntary recall of all Chaperone infant carseats manufactured between September 1, 2010 and April 30, 2011.  The model numbers included in the recall are E9L692J, E9L692K, E9L692L and E9L692M.  All Chaperone infant seats made before 9/1/2010 or after 4/30/2011 are not affected by this potential issue.  However, I recommend that if you own any Chaperone model, that you check the rivet in question regardless of when it was made.  And I don’t say that because I have any info suggesting a larger problem but only because it makes good sense to check once you’re aware of a potential issue.  Also, it should be noted that there was a previous, unrelated recall on certain Chaperone models made from April 2009 through May 2010.  If you have an older Chaperone model – please check to see if it may be included in the previous recall.  Click HERE for more details on the previous recall issue.

 

 Regarding the current recall:

The rivet used to attach the harness adjuster to the shell may have been improperly
installed. As a result, the harness adjuster may detach from the shell. Should the harness adjuster detach from the infant car seat shell the harness straps will not properly secure the child resulting in increased risk of injury in a vehicle crash.

IF the harness adjuster on your Chaperone Infant Car Seat detaches, please discontinue use of the product immediately and contact our Customer Service Department at 1-888-427-4829.

To address this issue, BRITAX is providing a remedy kit including a harness adjuster clip and instructions for properly installing it. All Chaperone Infant Car Seat owners should confirm whether their child restraint is affected by verifying the date of manufacture and model number.
No later than February 6, 2012, remedy kits and instructions for using them, will begin shipping to all registered Chaperone Infant Car Seat owners with affected seats.

 

The white sticker label with the model number and DOM (Date of Manufacturer) is located on the underside of the seat.