On Friday, December 18, 447,000 popular infant car seats were recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Dorel Juvenile Group, Inc. The recall came after 77 separate reports were made about faulty bolts on the child restraint handles of over 40 different models. Loose bolts caused the handles to partially — or in some cases fully — break loose from the car seat base, causing injuries to at least three babies.
Wondering if your car seat is involved in the recall? Here’s the full list:
Child Restraint Model # – Product Descriptions
22-057 DBY – Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-085 DWA – Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-057 CLN – Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-057 HRT – Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-322 HRR – Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-322 PTK – Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-057 LPH – Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-085 LYN – Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-322 KDL – Safety 1st Eurostar Travel System
22-322 LXI – Safety 1st Eurostar Travel System
22-322OLY – Safety 1st Eurostar Travel System
22-322PRS – Safety 1st Eurostar Travel System
22-322 MAI – Safety 1st Eurostar Travel System
22-325 COB – Safety 1st Eurostar Travel System
22-095 RBK – Safety 1st Explorer Travel System
22-380 LGA – Safety 1st Lite Wave Travel System
22-380 MSA – Safety 1st Lite Wave Travel System
22-627 WAV – Safety 1st Vector Travel System
22-325 PAC – Safety 1st Vector Travel System
22-300 FZN – Cosco Sprint Travel System
22-300 OSF – Cosco Sprint Travel System
22-300 CSF – Cosco Spirit Travel System
22-300 JJV – Cosco Spirit Travel System
22-300 THD – Cosco Spirit Travel System
22-300 TWD – Cosco Spirit Travel System
22-627 AWF- Disney Propack Travel System
22-355 LBF – Disney Propack Travel System
22-305 NAB – Disney Propack Travel System
22-305 PPH – Disney Propack Travel System
22-355 PWK – Disney Propack Travel System
22-627 CGT – Eddie Bauer Adventurer Travel System
22-627 FRK – Eddie Bauer Adventurer Travel System
22-627 SNW – Eddie Bauer Adventurer Travel System
22-627 WPR – Eddie Bauer Adventurer Travel System
22-627KGS – Eddie Bauer Endeavor Travel System
22-655BYTE – Eddie Bauer Endeavor Travel System
What you can do now: If you own one of the recalled infant carriers, stop using yours immediately and order a free repair kit now by heading to the Dorel website or by calling Dorel directly at (866) 762-3316 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST Monday-Friday.
Don’t forget, you can get your car seat installation checked out for FREE! Go to http://www.seatcheck.org to make an appointment.
Click here for more about choosing the right baby gear for your baby.
My beautiful four year old and I careened off the road at between 60 and 70 miles an hour. We launched through a guardrail and began to roll. I don’t know how many times.
Then, in a quiet field in rural Texas, motion stopped.
Most of this I know because it has been told to me. I have been told that my car and another collided along the highway. We were traveling the speed limit, but that was fast. I lost control of my SUV.
I lost control.
My baby was in the car.
I remember snapshots. Frozen images on which I fixate. I can’t remember what came before. I can’t remember what came after. So I loop what I remember until I realize my heart is racing, I’m drenched in sweat and I’ve lost my breath.
I see a guardrail. I think of my baby. I see an airbag. The fabric has a pattern on it. I think of my baby. I smell something acrid like gunpowder. I think of my baby.
The car rests. There is a shower of blood.
I think of my baby.
“Baby, are you okay?” (Please God, please let my baby be okay)
“I’m okay, mommy!”
I turn to see the eager face of my saucer-eyed child. It looks…it looks like she might really be okay!
She didn’t have a single scratch on her. Not one. Her perfect pink skin remains unbroken. Unblemished. Unbruised.
The blood was all mine. Thank God. I am recovering from a head and hip wound after being taken by helicopter to the hospital, but I, too, am okay.
How is it even possible that my daughter was unhurt?
She was firmly strapped into her car seat with its five point harness. That car seat was tightly connected to the “latches” embedded in the rear seat of the car. It was positioned in the center.*
I am not one to advertise for a particular brand of car seat (unless they’re paying me obscene amounts of money lol. Not the case here). The National Traffic Highway Safety Administration says “all car seats rated by NHTSA meet Federal Safety Standards & strict crash performance standards.” You can evaluate the safety of the car seat you’ve chosen for your child here. I don’t think you have to go deeply into debt to get a safe car seat for your baby.
That said, my child was protected by her Britax Marathon. Her head does not yet reach the top of this particular child safety seat, and the sides seem to surround her. I think that may have shielded her from the variety of things that were flying around as we were rolling.
But I believe the most important contributing factor to my daughter’s survival of this devastating crash was the proper installation of the seat, and the fact that she was properly strapped in. In fact, a police officer has told me as much. But this is not as simple as it seems.
The good folks at SeatCheck.org tell us 7 out of 10 kids in child safety seats are not buckled in properly. The NHTSA tells us motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children between 2 and 14 years old. I think that is reason enough to check your car seat. Make sure it’s properly installed. Make sure you know how to buckle your baby in correctly.
You don’t have to figure this out on your own.
The NHTSA knows who the experts in child safety seat installation and use are where you live, and they have a searchable database. It wouldn’t hurt to stop by and let the experts help you out.
This isn’t the first time we at Pea in the Podcast have talked about child safety seats, and it probably won’t be the last. Hopefully it will be the last time I will share such a personal story with you about the importance of car seats and proper installation.
Please, take another look at the picture at the top of this blog posting. The newspaper photo.
That’s my car.
That’s my baby.
*Several smart parents have informed me that many cars do not have “latches” for center positioning, so please check your owner’s manual before latching your car seat in the center.
Research has long suggested that it is safest to keep your child rear-facing in their carseat for as long as possible, and now the American Academy of Pediatrics has officially recommended doing so until they are at least two years old. Yay!
The fact of the matter is that in most crashes, if their carseat is forward facing, a baby’s head will snap forward. Before they’re two, their neck muscles simply aren’t strong enough to withstand that kind of force in a violent crash.
The result can be a broken neck.
Toddlers younger than two years old are 75% less likely to die or experience serious injury when rear facing.
Many parents turn their children early because their legs grow longer than the seat. Don’t worry, little ones are generally perfectly comfortable back there with their legs crossed. Some say their child is miserable, so they have to turn them. Try bringing along a box of novel toys or other neat little distractions for your roadtrips. Perhaps some music they really like, too. But please don’t turn them before they’re strong enough.
My daughter was more than two years old before I turned her. I’m so thankful I made that choice, even though we never crashed. Because what if we had? And what if it broke her neck?
For more on carseat safety, head on over to the AAP’s Car Safety Seats: A Guide for Families 2009.