On the day before Thanksgiving, Graco Children’s Products quietly recalled more than 300,000 infant car seats because they may pose a choking hazard. The backing of the seats can peel away from the seams, exposing filling underneath that could choke a curious baby. The recall affects Graco SnugRide stand-alone (non-travel) seats sold between August 2006 and mid-November 2007. Parents who think they may already have bought such a seat can visit the Graco Web site for more information on the recall.
The news may have been especially disheartening for parents who remember the February 2007 car seat report by Consumer Reports magazine, which found serious problems with many major-brand infant car seats. The magazine was forced to retract part of its report after discovering problems with its calculations, but stood by its request for a recall of at least two seats. One of the seats that didn’t fail safety tests was the Graco SnugRide — the focus of the current recall. With this seat now under suspicion, parents of small children could be forgiven for wondering whether they can trust any major brand of child car seat.
Unsafe products for babies are especially bad news because babies can’t make their own consumer decisions. Parents charged with keeping fragile infants safe should be able to trust manufacturers to sell safe products that are free of defects and protect their children from auto accident injuries.