You’ve heard about them, you may have even been involved with… recalled car seats.
It seems like a big inconvenience, especially having to stop using your car seat. What to do?
The truth is recalled seats do not always have to be replaced. Often times the car seat manufacturer will send replacement parts for your current seat. Sometimes it’s something as simple as the seat was shipped with an error on the label.
It all depends on the recall and the manufacturer. If you find out there is a recall on your seat, you’ll need to find out more information from the manufacturer about what the recall is for and what their instructions are to remedy the problem. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Kim Herrmann of Safe Kids Worldwide says, “the basis for a recall is ‘non compliance.’ Keep recalls in perspective. The term ‘recall’ is a generic term that is used to indicate the need for: Repair, Replacement, Refund or a warning.”
If you hear about a recall from the same manufacturer as your seat, stay calm and find out what model and what dates of manufacture the recall is for. Recalls are often for a limited range of manufacture dates and although you may have the same model, it may not be part of the product recall.
The best way to stay informed of any recalls for your seat(s) is to make sure to fill out and send in the registration card that came with the seat. If you feel like you threw it out or forgot about sending it in, you can usually go to the manufacturer’s website and register your seat that way. You’ll need the model name, date of manufacture and serial number off of your seat.
Another way to check if your seat has had any recalls is to go to a car seat check (always a good idea anyway). Child Passenger Safety Technicians at car seat checks have car seat recall lists that are routinely updated and they can help you determine if your particular seat has had any recalls and what the manufacturer’s instructions were. Providing this information to caregivers is a vital part of what CPS technicians do in helping families.
Many times the car seat can be used until a replacement part is available. If for some the instructions are to stop using the seat and you don’t have another immediately handy, remember the child is better protected with a recalled seat than with no seat at all. So keep using it until you can get it replaced but replace it as soon as possible.
By Amie Durocher, Creative Director at Safe Ride 4 Kids and certified CPS Tech since 2004
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