The potential for kids to adjust their own safety harnesses has prompted car seat maker Evenflo to initiate a recall of three popular models.
"Do it myself!" Any parent of a toddler is familiar with this refrain. And it's good to let kids do some things on their own—but not to adjust their car seat harnesses to unsafe positions while driving.
That is why, as Minneapolis station KARE 11 is reporting, Evenflo has recalled three of its Transitions 3-in-1 Combination Booster Seat models over concerns that children can access the Central Front Adjuster (CFA) button, located underneath a flap of fabric on the seat bottom, and loosen their own safety straps.
The recall includes about 30,000 car seats.
Own one of these Evenflo seats?
1. The forward-facing harnessed booster (for kids 22-65 lbs., and 28-50 inches tall)
2. The high-back belt-positioning booster (for kids 40-120 lbs., and 43.3-57 inches tall)
3. The no-back belt-positioning booster (for kids 40-120 lbs., and 43.3-57 inches tall)
You'll want to look for the following model numbers, which are included in the recall: 34411686, 34411695, and 34411029. All affected seats were manufactured before January 29, 2016.
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In a statement on its website, Evenflo assured parents "that this issue does not affect the structural integrity of the Transitions seat in a crash and no injuries have occurred in connection with this issue." Still, the company added, "Without a snug harness restraining the child, the potential for injury in a crash increases." News 7 Boston reports that 27 complaints have been filed after kids accessed the CFA buttons without parents' knowledge.
Evenflo is providing a complimentary remedy kit that includes a bottom seat replacement pad that will eliminate the possibility of a child being able to monkey with the CFA button. You can sign up to receive one here, and view a video on how to install the pad. You can also call the company's Consumer Resource Center at 1-800-233-5921 if you have questions.
According to Evenflo's statement, parents should only discontinue use of their child's car seat until receiving their remedy kit if the child is showing an interest in playing with the button. The company claims most kids won't bother trying to access it. But as a parent-of-three, I find it hard to believe that every kid in an affected Evenflo seat isn't messing with the button. Or maybe it's just my children who have an insatiable curiosity that leads them to mess with every button, zipper, knob, handle, hook, and switch on planet Earth!
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Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Follow her on Twitter (@Spitupnsuburbs), where she chronicles her love of exercising and drinking coffee, but never simultaneously.