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Graco safety seat recall may affect area families
Graco Children’s Products is recalling 1.9 million infant car seats, bowing to demands from U.S. safety regulators in what is now the largest seat recall in American history. A SnugRide Classic Connect infant car seat is shown.

Bowing to an outcry from U.S. safety regulators and parents, Graco Children’s Products announced Tuesday a recall for more than 6 million child safety seats.

The popular safety seat manufacturer had recalled 4.2 million toddler seats earlier this year due to issues with the harness buckle. Food and drink spills can cause the harness buckles to become stuck, making it difficult for parents to remove their children from the seat.

After five months of pressure from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Graco extended the recall to include infant seats, bringing the recall to 6.1 million seats and making it the largest child safety seat recall in American history.

Models named in the recall include Graco’s SnugRide, SnugRide Classic Connect (including Classic Connect 30 and 35), SnugRide 30, SnugRide 35, SnugRide Click Connect 40, and Aprica A30. According to the NHTSA, all recalled models were produced between July 2010 and May 2013.

According to Cpl. Kevin Holbrook of the Gainesville Police Department, local parents should be aware of the recall, as well as many other issues that can affect their child’s safety seat.

“Graco is a very large company. They’ve been in the child safety seat industry for a number of years, so there are many of these seats out in the community,” Holbrook said.

Holbrook’s advice to parents includes conducting Internet research to make sure their child’s seat is not affected by the recall. A quick Google search or visit to recall websites such as or will reveal whether your chld’s safety seat is affected.

While an uncooperative buckle can cause parents headaches, Holbrook said there are more pressing issues when it comes to children’s vehicle safety, such as making sure the seat fits properly and is used for every trip.

“When it comes to child safety seats, you want to use one that you’re going to use every trip, every time,” Holbrook said. “Ease of access, a seat that fits the child, and a seat that’s going to fit your vehicle. Many parents don’t realize that. They’ll go in and purchase the most expensive seat they can and realize it won’t fit in their vehicle.”

Holbrook sits on the board of Safe Kids Gainesville/Hall County, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting child safety. Safe Kids sponsors free child safety seat fittings every Tuesday from 9-11 a.m. at the Gainesville Police Department, 701 Queen City Parkway.

Safe Kids also sponsors a child safety seat class and distribution at the Hall County Health Department at 1290 Athens St. every third Friday of the month from 8:30-11 a.m. The $10 class is for Hall County resident who are Medicaid or Peachcare eligible.

According to Holbrook, even the recalled Graco seats can still perform the most important function of a child safety seat: protecting the child in the event of an accident.

“The recall simply states that (the harness buckle) can become more difficult to open over a period of time, or stuck in a latched position,” Holbrook said. “The recalled models can still be utilized. They may need a new harness buckle. but there is nothing recalled as far as how the seat is going to perform in a crash.”

Graco has agreed to supply new harness buckles free upon request, even to models unaffected by the recall.

Even if your child’s seat is unaffected, Holbrook’s advice to conerned parents is simple.

“We’re fortunate in this day and age to have the internet at our fingertips, so do research,” Holbrook said. “Determine what seat is going to be best for you, your child and your vehicle.”