Oct 7, 2017

Your First Step: Car Seat Safety

Manufactured products, such as car seats can be recalled on occasion. Often, the recall is simple and only requires a basic fix – a new label or an updated manual. If this happens, you can continue to use the product while the fix is obtained. However, recalls can also be more serious and/or even life threatening, in which case you need to stop the use of the product.  So, it’s important that you take a minute or two (literally, it’s that easy) to register your child’s car seat for important recall and safety notices – those five minutes can make a significant difference in your child’s life.



Registering Your Child’s Car Seat

When you purchase a car seat, the manufacturer will provide you a registration card. Just fill it out and return it to the manufacturer. This way the manufacturer knows how to get a hold of you in case they need to send an alert for a potential recall that could affect the performance of your child’s car seat.
Here’s the four pieces of information that you will need to complete the registration card:
·         Manufacturer’s name (Example: Graco,  Orbit Baby, Peg Perego, RECARO, etc)
·         Model Name (ComfortSport, Ready Ride, Classic Ride, SnugRide 35, etc)
·         Date of Manufacturer (Example Label says "Manufactured in" )
·         Model number (Examples include: 8643CDR2,  317147P1, 1794334)
You can find this information on the car seat label. Complete the form, fill out your name and address and just drop it in the mail.

Registering a Car Seat Sans Registration Card

Did you purchase a used car seat without a registration card?  (Be careful, we advise against it!) However, perhaps you set your car keys down along with the registration card and now you’ve misplaced it, or lost it. It happens! Don’t sweat it; you can still register your car seat sans registration card.
You can complete the same information online by going to the manufacturer’s website or safercar.gov.
Here are several links to some car seat manufacturers' online registration forms:
If you’re still a pen and paper, old-fashioned snail-mail kind of individual, you can still mail the registration information directly to your manufacturer. Simply send them your name, current mailing address, manufacturer’s name, date of manufacture, model number, and model name (if known). If you can’t locate the address to send the information, you can also mail it to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. They even provide a registration form that you can print. They will handle and forward the registration to the appropriate company on your behalf.
You can send them the information or the form at following address:
U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Office of Defects Investigation, Correspondence Research Division (NVS-216),
Room W48-301, 1200 New Jersey Avenue S.E.,
Washington, DC 20590.
You may also call the manufacturer or get a hold of a Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) who will have a generic form that can be filled out and sent to register car seats.

Moved? Update your Information

If you have moved after you registered your car seat, make sure you reach out to the manufacturer to update your information. You can do this in the same manner as “sans registration card”. By law, manufacturers are required to send out notices in the mail, so make sure that they have your correct address.
You can also opt to receive emails for all car seat recalls. Again, safercar.gov provides a list for all car seat recalls (including those you have not registered). And take advantage of free resources, such as local companies like this one that offer free car seat inspection.


Remember, in 2015 over six million car seats were recalled by manufacturers. Yet fewer than half of those car seats received the necessary repair, according to an article on The Huffington Post, “A Message to Parents with Kids in Car Seats.” Graco has also recently issued a recall for 25,000 plus Graco My Ride 65 convertible car seats due to the harness webbing possibly not adequately restraining a child in an accident. You can check all the current recalls online. But again, I can’t stress enough how important it is that you register your child’s car seat for possible recall and safety notices. 

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