No doubt, Graco is a household name for baby gear. They have been in the baby product industry for decades and are striving to remain one of the best.
Among other baby products, Graco is known for manufacturing baby travel systems (car seats, car seat bases, and strollers).
Due to the Flammable Fabrics Act (FFA) of 1953, manufacturers were prohibited from producing highly flammable products. For that reason, most products in the U.S. contain flame retardants to minimize the effect of fire outbreaks.
Looking at the majority of car seats in the market, more than 50% of car seats contain harmful chemicals that make them toxic. Is Graco one of the baby brands that still produce toxic car seats? Let’s find out.
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Table of Contents
Are Graco Car Seats Toxic?
To meet the Federal Flammability Regulations, Graco car seats are treated with flame-retardant chemicals that tend to be toxic. The two common chemicals used in the fabrics and filing materials of Graco car seats are phosphorus and halogens such as bromine.
Nonetheless, Graco is a top brand with materials testing experts that ensure products are tested and safe for use. Even though Graco car seats are not GREENGUARD Gold certified, they are still safe to use because they contain a minimal amount of toxic chemicals that won’t affect children when exposed.
However, you should stick to the expiring dates of the car seat brand you are using. For Graco car seats, it becomes unsafe for use between 7 and 10 years after purchase (check the manual to see the exact date).
After certain years of use, most car seats begin to wear and tear, thus, releasing harmful chemicals in them. Before that happens, you should have disposed of the car seat to save your child from health complications.
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Why Do Car Seats Contain Flame Retardants?
According to the Flammability Fabrics Act, the movement of highly flammable materials worn by individuals is prohibited. There is a flammability standard set by CPSC to prevent the escalation of any fire incident.
Unfortunately, for manufacturers to stick to these flammability standards, they need to use flame retardants and stain-resistant fabric treatments (PFCs/PFOAs) on their products. That is where toxicity comes from in car seats.
Just like most car seat brands, Graco car seats contain flame-retardant chemicals and PFAS. However, these substances are moderately used for safety purposes.
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Does A Toxic Car Seat Lead To Sudden Infant Death Syndrome?
There is rarely any case of SIDS caused by car seats. However, you shouldn’t allow your child to sleep in a car seat at home. Doing that could increase the chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Since children are spending just a few hours using the car seat, no car seat will lead to death. However, prolonged exposure to toxic car seats can affect the health of children.
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Should I Avoid Graco Car Seats?
With all the talks about toxic and non-toxic car seats, Graco remains one of the best-sellers of car seats. So far, thousands of parents are using Graco car seats and there hasn’t been any issue caused by the toxicity of the seats.
You don’t have to avoid Graco car seats except if you have another preferred brand in mind. Parents are buying Graco car seats every day, and they seem to be one of the best-selling car seats on Amazon and other platforms, with excellent reviews.
Graco produces different models of car seats at different prices, giving parents the privilege to make their choices according to their budgets. If you are interested in buying a car seat from Graco, some of the car seats are performing better than others in the marketplace.
Currently, the 3 Graco car seats that doing performing well are Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 car seat, Graco Extend2Fit convertible car seat, and the Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 car seat. If must choose one, go for the 4Ever DLX 4-in-1.
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What To Do If A Car Seat Smells Chemical After Purchase?
In some cases, when you buy a new car seat, it will come with a pungent chemical smell. Before you use such car seats, you may want to air dry in the sun for some time.
Also, after washing the seat cover, the effect of the chemical would be greatly reduced. Here’s an article on whether Graco car seats are machine washable or not.
Graco car seats contain some level of toxic chemicals, but this is because the company wants to adhere to the Flammable Fabrics Act of 1953.
According to a U.S study, more than 50 per cent of car seats contain flame retardants and PFAS. That does not mean these car seats with flame retardants would cause problems for your little one.
Just ensure you stick to the expiry dates on the car seats and never leave your child to sleep in a car seat at home.