Car accidents are always bad. Even “minor” accidents pose a great risk to the human body, as the physics of a vehicle crash exert terrific forces on the body, breaking bones, tearing muscle, crushing internal organs and causing concussions and traumatic brain injuries to the vehicle’s occupants.
And as dangerous and life threatening as the injuries an occupant can receive inside the vehicle, they are magnified many times, should the occupant be ejected from the vehicle in a collision or rollover crash. Modern vehicles are designed with a great many safety features designed to immobilize an occupant and limit, as much as possible, any movement during a truck or car accident.
For infants and children, stock vehicle seats provide inadequate levels of safety during a car accident. Children must ride in specially designed car seats to ensure they do not move about in the vehicle cabin in the event of a car crash.
However, as important as a car seat is to preventing movement during a car accident, there could be time when it is vitally critical to be able to quickly release the child from the seat belts and remove them from the vehicle.
A recall has been issued for some Graco child car seats because the company apparently designed the seat belt release mechanism so that food and drink spilled on the release could lead to its being jammed and becoming inoperable.
Who would have imagined small children would drop food on a seat belt buckle? Apparently the company that sold the buckles to Graco.
The seats are still safe and will protect a child in the event of a crash, but if you own one, you should contact Graco for a replacement buckle as soon as possible.
Source: USA Today, “Millions of Graco child (but not infant) seats recalled,” Jayne O’Donnell, February 11, 2014