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Safety Archive

Graco Expands Buckle Recall to Some Infant Carseats

Graco is expanding their buckle recall to include some infant carseats:

Models Affected by the Recall:

The harness buckles used on the following models of infant car seats are included in this recall:

  • Infant car seats: SnugRide, SnugRide Classic Connect, SnugRide 30, SnugRide Classic Connect 30, SnugRide 35, SnugRide Classic Connect 35, SnugRide Click Connect 40, and Aprica A30.

Buckle Replacement Details:

  • Graco has and will continue to offer replacement harness buckles to concerned consumers at no cost. While many harness buckles look alike, consumers can verify which buckle they have by entering the model name and date of manufacture on GracoBuckleRecall.com. This information can be found on the white label located on the bottom of the infant car seat carrier (see below).
  • Additionally, Graco will continue to offer a free replacement buckle to any consumer who has an infant car seat not included in this recall, but would like to update their buckle to Graco’s current buckle design.
  • For additional questions, consumers may contact the Graco customer service team at 877-766-7470 (Monday – Friday, 9 am to 5 pm) or consumerservices@gracobaby.com
  • Those seeking replacement buckles will receive replacement kits in Summer 2014. While waiting for replacement buckles, Graco car seats equipped with affected buckles are safe to use. If your buckle becomes sticky, Graco recommends cleaning it by following the instructions available on GracoBuckleRecall.com as this will make it much easier to use.

Background on the New and Improved Buckle:

As early as January 2013, Graco began equipping our infant car seats with a new and improved buckle. While some of the buckles look the same, the updated buckle has been re-engineered and has an improved design, which makes it easier to use. This recall impacts only the older model of this buckle, used in car seats manufactured prior to May, 2013.

Graco’s Commitment to Safety

Graco has met or exceeded every safety standard set forth by the federal government through its 60-year commitment to rigorous engineering and demanding crash testing protocols. Each Graco car seat must withstand a critical crash test  — hundreds of times — simulating a vehicle hitting a brick wall at 35 mph,  which is double the force  required by the government. Graco has conducted side impact testing on our car seats for nearly a decade before NHTSA proposed such a standard. Graco is also the only manufacturer to crash test our car seats under extreme temperatures – from 0 to 140 degrees F – to ensure the materials maintain their integrity in even the most demanding conditions.  Importantly, Graco car seats undergo an additional battery of tests by independent safety experts at the same lab contracted by NHTSA to set the safety standards for the entire industry.

In designing each element of the car seat, the primary focus of our engineers is infant and toddler safety. The harness buckle — a critical part of the car seat — is opened and closed more than 15,000 times, the equivalent of 50 years of use, to ensure it meets our industry-leading safety qualifications.  We also pull the harness buckles to withstand a force of over one ton, which is three times more than what is applied during a typical high-speed crash test. While there continues to be no reported injuries or fatalities related to our harness buckles, we have continued to upgrade buckle design as part of our ongoing product evaluation and improvement process.

 

To see if your model is affected, look under or behind your car seat, locate the white label and note model NAME and Date of Manufacture:

infant-car-seat-mfg

Graco Infant Carseat Models Recalled:
Model Name Dates Produced
SnugRide
SnugRide Classic Connect
March 1, 2011 through May 31, 2013
Snugride 30
SnugRide Classic Connect 30
July 1, 2010 through January 31, 2013
Snugride 35
SnugRide Classic Connect 35
May 1, 2011 through January 31, 2013
SnugRide Click Connect 40 June 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012
Aprica A30 July 1, 2011 through April 30, 2012

You may also search to see if your infant carseat is affected at the Graco website:  https://secure.gracobucklerecall.com/recall2014/infant-car-seats-affected-models.html

Kids Are Dying

Since we shared this graphic one month ago, 9 additional children have died of heatstroke in vehicles. In ONE month. That’s a total of 13 to this point in 2014–13 too many. Please share this graphic on Facebook without judgement. We can all forget when we’re exhausted and overworked.

  • Have your childcare call you when your child doesn’t show up that day
  • Keep your wallet AND cell phone in the back seat
  • Always look in the back seat when getting out of the car
  • Keep a shoe in the back seat
  • If your child is missing, check your pool first, then your vehicle
  • Do what it takes!

don't forget

Tomorrow’s Drivers, Yesterday

IMG_0342Recently I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time watching instructional videos from the 1940s and 1950s. I’ve learned skills such as how to settle conflicts, how to be popular, and how to ask someone out on a date (which I can’t do, since I’m not male). Videos like these rank high on the nostalgia scale, but by today’s standards most of them are quaint and a bit silly, and sometimes even offensive.

This video, though, is truly awesome in terms of both content and throwback value.

Apparently in the 1950s, elementary schools in Phoenix decided to start driver’s education early. Really early. This video shows kindergarteners playing a musical-chairs-type game while holding cardboard steering wheels. As the years progress, they receive more instruction until they’re able to drive Power Wheels-esque (but way cooler) vehicles in a little “town,” and get traffic citations for breaking the rules.

Today there are bike rodeos and “safety towns” that teach similar concepts for cycling, but parents usually have to pursue these on their own, and they’re typically a one-time thing, not a curriculum that’s reinforced throughout several years of school.

The best part of this video is the “Attitude Court” that teens had to attend to earn back a suspended license. In addition to covering citizenship issues, the Attitude School held scientific demonstrations explaining aspects of safe driving. The attendees had to pass written tests and participate in a ride-along with a police officer before their licenses would be returned.

Yes, there is the standard cringe-inducing lack of seatbelts, but such was the era. We can’t expect them to have gotten everything right. But did I mention the film is narrated by Jimmy Stewart?

Take a few minutes and watch this, then go teach your kids hand signals if they don’t already know them.

The More You Know…

Abe's NoseA couple weeks ago my family and I took a trip to Springfield, Illinois. Before we left, I made reservations for two nights at a hotel that I chose based on room occupancy allowances (we have five people), TripAdvisor reviews, price, and a history of good luck with that particular chain.

When we checked in they told us that the hotel was undergoing renovation, but we didn’t think much of it. It was already well past our little ones’ bedtimes, and as long as there was no overnight construction, we didn’t mind if some rooms weren’t complete. We were looking forward to settling in for the night, but when we stepped off the elevator on our floor, we were met with chaos. Doors were open, exposing half-redecorated rooms, and drywall dust covered the hallway. When we opened our door, there was no countertop in the “kitchenette” area, there was drywall dust on the carpet, and cardboard left sitting in the bathroom.

My husband went down to complain, and they gave us a new room but not before warning that none of the rooms had the kitchenette countertops. Our second room was at least dust- and cardboard-free, and it was too late to change hotels so we decided to make the best of it.IMG_0236

After we had gotten the kids settled into bed, we realized the new deadbolt wasn’t properly aligned so it wouldn’t lock. But again, we decided to just deal.

I heard my husband get up a few times in the middle of the night but I ignored it and went back to sleep. In the morning, though, he told me what he had been doing.

As a former fireman, he couldn’t sleep. The open room doors bothered him because they’re supposed to be closed at night for fire-containment purposes. (If a fire starts in one room, a closed door can keep it from spreading to others.) He walked the entire hotel and found 34 doors left open. He always walks the exit routes so he knows where they are in case we need them. When he did, he found equipment (including ladders) stored in the stairwells, which is not allowed per fire code. In an emergency, people could trip over the equipment or even knock it over, blocking other people’s escape.

IMG_0248He apologized to me, but said he couldn’t stay there another night and we needed to find a new hotel. He said, “I really wish I could be ignorant about the hazards here, but I know too much and this isn’t safe. I wish I didn’t know or didn’t care, but I do, and we can’t stay here.”

He thought I’d be annoyed by his “pickiness,” but I understood. It’s the same way I am with car seat safety. In a way, I wish I didn’t know or didn’t care about the importance of car seats. In a way, I wish I could just go ahead and let my kids ride without seats when they’re “just going around the corner” because the risk of something happening is so small. But I know that a small risk (of a car crash or a hotel fire) is still a risk I’m not willing to take.

So that morning, my husband called the local fire department, who said they would send an inspector out. We also talked to the manager, who was shocked that doors had been left open, and agreed that the hotel really should have shut down during construction. (The parent company had insisted on keeping it open.) She cancelled our reservation for that night and refunded all of our money for the previous night.

I don’t know what happened as a result of the fire inspection, but I do know that I’ll happily indulge my husband’s fire-safety obsessions as long as he continues to indulge my car-seat ones. We’re a little crazy like that.