Your Baby

Should Women Eat Fish While Pregnant?

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Fish are high in several beneficial nutrients, including some that are related to healthy brain development. But several organizations, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), recommend that women who are pregnant limit the amount of fish they eat.

The reason is that most fish and shellfish contain low-levels of methylmercury.

Almost all people have at least trace amounts of methylmercury in their tissues, reflecting the organic compound’s widespread presence in the environment. Fetuses, infants and children are the most vulnerable to the possible adverse effects of mercury exposure.

One of the major concerns of the medical community and mothers-to-be is the possibility of a link between eating fish that contains mercury, and their child developing autism.  

A new study addresses that concern and says that children exposed to low levels of mercury in the womb because their mothers ate large amounts of fish, don’t appear to be at an increased risk for autism.

The new findings from more than 30 years of research in the Republic of Seychelles -- a group of islands in the western Indian Ocean -- found no such link, the study authors said.

"This study shows no evidence of a correlation between low level mercury exposure and autism spectrum-like behaviors among children whose mothers ate, on average, up to 12 meals of fish each week during pregnancy," study lead author Edwin van Wijngaarden, associate professor in the public health sciences department at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, said in a medical center news release.

"These findings contribute to the growing body of literature that suggest that exposure to the chemical does not play an important role in the onset of these behaviors," he added.

One autism expert added a note of caution, however.

"The study found no link between high mercury levels and later autism spectrum disorder behaviors. However, this should not be taken to mean that high levels of mercury are safe to ingest," said Alycia Hallday, senior director of environmental and clinical science at the advocacy group Autism Speaks.

"Other studies comparing this [Seychelles] cohort to those in other parts of the world indicate that this cohort may be spared from many adverse effects because it is consumed with nutrient-rich ocean fish," she explained.

For the study, the researchers initially determined the level of prenatal mercury exposure by analyzing the mothers' hair samples. Then the researchers used two questionnaires -- one given to parents, the other to the children's teachers -- to see if the children showed signs of autism spectrum-like behaviors. The tests included questions on language skills, communication skills and repetitive behaviors. While the tests don't give a definitive diagnosis, they are used widely in the United States as an initial screening tool and may indicate the need for additional testing, the researchers said.

The study also noted the concerns of and limitations recommended by the FDA and other organizations.

"This study shows no consistent association in children with mothers with mercury levels that were six to 10 times higher than those found in the U.S. and Europe. This is a sentinel population and if (the association between low-level mercury exposure and autism) does not exist here than it probably does not exist," Philip Davidson, principal investigator of the Seychelles Child Development Study and professor emeritus in pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center, said in the news release.

The finding lends support to an emerging belief that the good may outweigh the possible bad when it comes to eating fish during pregnancy. Specifically, if the mercury did not harm brain development at the levels of exposure experienced by the children in this study, then the benefits of the nutrients in fish may counteract or surpass the potential negative effects of mercury, the study authors said.

So, which fish have “low” or “high” mercury content? The American Pregnancy Association provides this list on their website.

Highest Mercury

AVOID

  • Marlin
  • Orange roughy
  • Tilefish
  • Swordfish
  • Shark
  • Mackerel (king)
  • Tuna (bigeye, Ahi)

High Mercury

Eat no more than three 6-oz servings per month

  • Sea Bass (Chilean)
  • Bluefish
  • Grouper
  • Mackerel (Spanish, Gulf)
  • Tuna (canned, white albacore) See tuna chart below
  • Tuna (Yellow fin)

Lower Mercury

Eat no more than six 6-oz servings per month

  • Bass (Striped, Black)
  • Carp
  • Cod (Alaskan)
  • Croaker (White Pacific)
  • Halibut ( Pacific and Atlantic) Jacksmelt ( Silverside)
  • Lobster
  • Mahi Mahi
  • Monkfish
  • Perch (freshwater)
  • Sablefish
  • Skate
  • Snapper
  • Sea Trout (Weakfish)
  • Tuna (canned, chunk light)
  • Tuna (Skipjack)

Lowest Mercury

Enjoy two 6-oz servings per week

  • Anchovies
  • Butterfish
  • Catfish
  • Clam
  • Crab (Domestic)
  • Crawfish/crayfish
  • Croaker
  • Flounder
  • Haddock
  • Hake
  • Herring
  • Mackerel (N Atlantic, Chub)
  • Mullet
  • Oysters
  • Perch (ocean)
  • Plaice
  • Salmon (Canned, Fresh)
  • Sardines
  • Scallops
  • Shad (American)
  • Shrimp
  • Sole
  • Squid (Calamari)
  • Tilapia
  • Trout (freshwater)
  • Whitefish
  • Whiting

The study was published online July 23 in the journal Epidemiology

Sources: http://consumer.healthday.com/pregnancy-information-29/pregnancy-news-543/breaking-brief-7-23-mercury-autism-epidemiology-urmc-release-678533.html

http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/fishmercury.htm

http://www.epa.gov/hg/effects.htm

Your Baby

Evenflo Recalls 1.3 Million Child Seat Buckles

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Evenflo Company Inc. is voluntarily recalling 1.3 million convertible car seats and harnessed booster seats due to the risk that during an emergency a child may not be able to be removed quickly.

The buckles on the car seats and booster seats may become stuck in the locked position. The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA) said the buckles used in the recall models were manufactured between 2011 and 2014.

Evenflo’s website states that “These select models use a harness crotch buckle which may become resistant to unlatching over time, due to exposure to various contaminants (like food and drinks) that are present in everyday use of the convertible car seat or harnessed booster by toddlers. This condition may make it difficult to remove a child from the vehicle. There is no such risk if the buckle is functioning normally. These convertible car seats and harnessed boosters meet all requirements for crashworthiness under the federal FMVSS 213 safety standard and can continue to be used to transport your child safely, if you are not experiencing difficulty unlatching the buckle. Importantly, Evenflo has received no reports of injuries to children in connection with the use of this buckle on the seats that are subject to this recall.”

The recall models include:  

  • Momentum – Model number prefix- 385
  • Chase - Model number prefix- 306, 329
  • Maestro – Model number prefix- 310
  • Symphony - Model number prefix-345, 346
  • Snugli All in One - Model number prefix- 345, 346
  • Titan - Model number prefix- 371
  • SureRide - Model number prefix- 371
  • Secure Kid & Snugli Booster - Model number prefix- 308

Evenflo is providing consumers a remedy kit, free-of-charge that includes a replacement buckle and instructions for installing the new buckle. The remedy kit is available by placing an order with Evenflo on their website at www.buckle.evenflo.com, or calling 1-800-490-7591.

Evenflo requests that consumers not return the convertible car seats or harnessed boosters to retailers.

The website also contains a link for instructions on cleaning the buckles.

The NHTSA is also investigating the safety of Evenflo’s rear-facing infant seats.

Source: http://www.mbtmag.com/news/2014/04/evenflo-recalling-13m-child-seat-buckles

http://safety.evenflo.com/cs/sc/cssc99_RD.phtml?rid=EFR36&src=WEB

Your Baby

No Link Between Vaccines and Autism

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A new study slated to appear in the Journal of Pediatrics, says that there is no association between the amount of vaccines a young child receives and autism. Some parents have worried that there may be a link and have opted out of having their child vaccinated or reduced the number of vaccines recommended.

The percentage of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has increased by 72% since 2007. Some experts believe that changes in the diagnostic criteria may account for some of the increase as well as better screening tools and rating scales.

According to a statement released from the journal, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Abt Associates analyzed data from children with and without ASD.

Researchers examined each child's cumulative exposure to antigens, the substances in vaccines that cause the body's immune system to produce antibodies to fight disease, and the maximum number of antigens each child received in a single day of vaccination, the journal's statement said.

The antigen totals were the same for children with and without ASD, researchers found.

Scientists believe genetics play a fundamental role in the risk for a child developing autism (80-90%), but recent studies also suggests that the father’s age at the time of conception may also be a contributor by increasing risks for genetic mistakes in the sperm that could be passed along to offspring.

Parents have worried about a link between vaccines and autism for decades despite the growing body of scientific evidence disproving such an association.

Source: Luciana Lopez, http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/29/us-usa-health-autism-idUSBRE92S0GO20130329

Your Baby

Recall: 600,000 Angelcare Baby Monitors After Two Deaths

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with Angelcare Monitors Inc.®, of Quebec, Canada, is announcing a voluntary recall to provide cord covers for 600,000 Angelcare Movement and Sound Monitors with Sensor Pads. The cord attached to the baby monitor’s sensor pad is placed under the crib mattress, which poses a strangulation risk if the child pulls the cord into the crib and it becomes wrapped around the neck. 

Angelcare and CPSC have received reports of two infant cord strangulation deaths. In November 2011, a 13-month-old female died in San Diego, California, and, in August 2004, an 8-month-old female died in Salem, Oregon.  In both fatalities, the infant pulled the cord from the sensor pads, into the crib. In addition, there have been two reports of infants who became entangled in cords of Angelcare baby monitor models, which did not result in fatalities. In these incidents, it could not be determined if the “sensor pad cord” or the “monitor cord” was involved in the incident. 

The recall involves the Movement and Sound Monitor manufactured by Angelcare. This design of baby monitor includes a unique sensor pad placed inside the crib, under the mattress, to monitor movement of the baby.  An electrical cord about 11 feet long is permanently connected from the sensor pad to the nursery monitor unit. A cord within reach of a baby inside the crib creates the hazard. The cord can be pulled into the crib and can wrap around the child’s neck. The recall involves ALL versions of Angelcare sensor monitors including model numbers that did not include rigid cord covers offered in the remedy, such as:

  • AC1100
  • AC201
  • AC300
  • AC401
  • AC601
  • 49255

To find the model number, look on the back of the nursery monitor unit. The monitors were manufactured between 1999 and 2013. 

Angelcare is providing consumers with a repair kit that includes rigid protective cord covers through which the sensor pad cords can be threaded, a new, permanent electric cord-warning label about the strangulation risk, and revised instructions. 

The recalled baby monitors were sold at Babies R Us/Toys R Us, Burlington Coat Factory, Meijer, Sears, Walmart, Amazon.com, Target.com, Overstock.com, and nearly 70 small baby specialty stores, from October 1999 through September 2013 for about $100to $300. 

Consumers should immediately make sure cords are placed out of reach of the child and contact Angelcare toll-free at (855) 355-2643 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm's website at www.angelcarebaby.com to order the free repair kit.

Source: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2014/Angelcare-Recalls-to-Repair-Movement-and-Sound-Baby-Monitors-After-Two-Deaths/

 Angelcare Movement and Sound Baby Monitor

A hand holds the cord that can be pulled into the crib.

Your Baby

Walmart Recalls Baby Dolls Due to Burn Hazards

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Twelve children have suffered incidents, including two reports of burns or blisters from “The My Sweet Love” and “My Sweet Baby” dolls sold nationwide at Walmart stores and online.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that Walmart is now recalling these dolls. Consumers should immediately take the dolls from children, remove the batteries and return the doll to any Walmart store for a full refund.

The circuit in the chest of the doll can overheat, causing the surface of the doll to get hot, posing a burn hazard to the consumer.

The My Sweet Love / My Sweet Baby electronic baby doll comes in pink floral clothing and matching knit hat. The 16-inch doll is packaged with a toy medical check-up kit including a stethoscope, feeding spoon, thermometer and syringe. The doll’s electronics cause her to babble when she gets “sick,” her cheeks turn red and she starts coughing. Using the medical kit pieces cause the symptoms to stop. “My Sweet Baby” is printed on the front of the clear plastic and cardboard packaging.

The doll is identified by UPC 6-04576-16800-5 and a date code that begins with WM. The date code is printed on the stuffed article label sewn into the bottom of the doll.

Walmart has received 12 reports of incidents, including two reports of burns or blisters to the thumb.

About 174,000 dolls are being recalled and were sold from August 2012 through March 2014 for $20.00.

Consumers can contact Walmart Stores at (800) 925-6278 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. CT on Saturday, and from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. CT on Sunday, or online at www.walmart.com and click on Product Recalls for more information.

Source: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2014/Wal-Mart-Recalls-Dolls/#remedy

Walmart Doll Recall

Your Baby

40% of Parents Start Baby on Solid Foods Too Early

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When should babies be introduced to solid foods? Many physician groups and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend waiting till your infant is at least 6 months old before solid foods are introduced into his or her diet.

But a new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reports that 4 in 10 parents start feeding their babies solid foods before their four-month birthday.

Why should parents wait? According to the AAP, it’s partly because early solid foods have been linked to obesity and other chronic conditions. Public health experts also agree that a mother’s breast milk or nutritionally fortified formula is best fed exclusively till the baby is about 6 months old.

"Introducing solid foods early means that the baby gets less breast milk over the course of their infancy, and that decreases the ability to get optimal benefits, like protection against infection," said Dr. Alice Kuo, from the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities.

Choking on solid foods is another concern experts have noted.

"Infants should be able to sit up (and) take food off the spoon," said the CDC's Kelley Scanlon, who worked on the research." Sometimes if they're not ready, if they get presented with the food, they might not open their mouth… or they might spit it back up."

The team’s research included 1,334 new moms who filled out questionnaires each month about what their baby had eaten in the past week. The surveys were conducted between 2005 and 2007, when AAP recommendations called for starting solid foods no earlier than four months of age. Just over 40 percent of parents reported their babies were eating solids, such as cereals and purees, before that point.

Why were the mothers feeding solid foods so early? They gave several answers. They thought their baby was old enough, their infant seemed hungry – even after being breastfed or given a bottle, and surprisingly many reported that their doctor or nurse had recommended they start introducing solid foods.

"There's not clear communication of the recommendations or the potential health impacts of early introduction," Scanlon told Reuters Health.

9% said they had actually introduced baby solid food before their child was one-month old according to findings published in the journal Pediatrics.

Women who reported exclusive breastfeeding during their baby's first couple of months were less likely to introduce solid foods earlier than recommended compared to formula-feeding mothers, the CDC researchers found.

Mayoclinic.com says that between 4 and 6 months old, babies begin to develop the coordination needed to close their lips around a spoon as well as move solid foods from the back of the their mouths for swallowing.

Starting solid food too early can:

- Pose a risk of aspiration — or sucking food into the airway — since most babies don't have the oral motor skills to safely swallow foods before age 4 months.

- Cause a baby to get too much or not enough calories or nutrients.

- Increase a baby's risk of obesity.

Kuo said the new findings are further evidence that pediatricians should tailor their messages about breastfeeding and solid foods to each particular parent and child - rather than always giving "the same spiel" about introducing solids at the four-month visit.

"The decision to start solid foods in babies has to be a compromise between what makes sense for the baby and what makes sense for the mom, who most likely is working," she said.

And what about the old wives tale of feeding a little solid food at night will help baby sleep better? Research has shown that it doesn't.

Genevra Pittman, http://news.yahoo.com/many-parents-introduce-solids-4-months-cdc-195553198.html

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/starting-solids/AN02145

Your Baby

Infant Medicine Recall

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“Out of an abundance of caution”, Perrigo Co. has issued a voluntary recall of 18 batches of their over-the-counter liquid acetaminophen that is used to treat fever and aches and pains in infants.

The recall is not because of a problem with the medicine itself, but because a small number of boxes may contain a dispensing syringe without dose markings.

The medicine is sold under a variety of brand names including Babies R Us and Care One.  The list of labels and batch numbers of the recalled product are listed below.

Label and Batches

BABIES R US- 3KK0606

CARE ONE -3HK0564

EQUALINE - 3HK0672

EQUATE - 3HK0672, 3JK0433, 3JK0594, 3JK0595, 3JK0653, 3JK0673, 3KK0815,

3KK0817

HARMON FACE VALUES - 3JK0594

HEALTH MART - 3HK0671

HEALTHY ACCENTS - 3HK0671, 3KK0606

HEB - 3KK0606

KROGER - 3GK0645, 3GK0704, 3HK0671, 3JK0433, 3JK0595, 3JK0653, 3JK0433,

3JK0595, 3GK0645, 3GK0704, 3JK0595

LEADER DRUG - 3JK0433, 3JK0594

MEIJER - 3JK0594, 3JK0597

PUBLIX - 3JK0595

RITE AID - 3GK0704

TOPCARE - 3KK0359, 3KK0494

UP & UP - 3HK0672

WALGREEN - 3GK0704, 3HK0564, 3HK0671, 3JK0433, 3JK0595, 3JK0610, 3KK0360

Giving infants the correct dose of acetaminophen is very important when treating them for an illness or injury. Too much acetaminophen can overload the liver’s ability to process the drug safely and can lead to a life-threatening condition.

According to Perrigo’s press release about the recall, if you have purchased a package that contains an oral dosing device that does not have dose markings, the consumer should not use the product and should call Perrigo's Consumer Affairs Department, toll free, 1-800-719-9260. Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have any questions, or if they or their children experience any problem that could possibly be related to this drug product.

No injuries have been reported to Perrigo at this time.

Source: http://perrigo.investorroom.com/2013-11-01-Perrigo-Initiates-Nationwide-Voluntary-Product-Recall-Of-Acetaminophen-Infant-Suspension-Liquid-160-mg-5-mL-Due-To-A-Potential-Defect-With-The-Co-Packaged-Oral-Syringe

Michael Calia, http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20131101-711768.html?dsk=y&mod=dist_smartbrief

Unmarked syringe

Your Baby

May Conception at Higher Risk for Premature Birth

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Is there ever really a perfect time to start a family? If you’re in the planning stage or wanting to grow your family you might want to rule out the month of May for conception. 

Why May you ask? According to a recent study, children conceived in the month of May have a 10% higher risk of being born premature.

The study authors believe that may be a function of the expectant mother's increased exposure to the seasonal flu during January and February, exactly when a baby conceived in May is nearing term.  

"We were surprised that the relationship between potential flu exposure and premature birth appears to be so evident in the data," said study author Janet Currie, director of the Center for Health and Wellbeing at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. "There has been some recent work suggesting that flu can induce premature labor in women late in pregnancy, and our results appear to corroborate this."

Currie also added that if mothers-to-be received a flu shot they might not be at risk for premature labor due to flu infection.  While the study did provide an association between conception in the month of May and premature births, it did not prove a direct cause-and-effect.

To explore the potential impact of conception timing on infant health, the researchers analyzed data on roughly 647,000 mothers in the northeastern region of the United States. All the women had given birth to more than one child.

In addition to dates of birth and lengths of pregnancies, the data included information on maternal weight changes, race, education and smoking history.

The research team noted that by looking solely at the conception-to-birth experience of more than 1.4 million siblings (as opposed to non-related babies), they were able to compare apples to apples, and sidestep other complicating factors that might influence prematurity risk, such as a family's wealth or educational background.

The result: The authors identified a "sharp trough" in the length of pregnancies that began in May.

In addition to reviewing month-by-month conception records, researchers studied post-1997 influenza data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and found a correlation between May conceptions and a significant increase in flu exposure during the third trimester of those pregnancies.

If you’re thinking about conceiving in the summer months, the research team found that those babies tended to weigh little bit more at birth than babies conceived at other times of the year. In the world of newborn babies, even an ounce can make a positive difference in health.

"The birth weight results suggest that infants conceived during the summer have higher birth weight in part because mothers tend to gain more weight during pregnancy when they conceive in summer," Currie said. "It seems likely that this is because they have a better diet, though we cannot directly observe that in our data.”

"We cannot rule out other factors that might also be important for pregnancy outcomes," she said. "But we think the message of our paper is that parents should take steps to guard against known problems," suggesting that the most practical thing pregnant women can do is simply eat well and get a seasonal flu shot. "That would probably be a more sensible approach then trying to time conception to avoid May."

Too many mother’s-to-be avoid getting flu shots because they fear that the vaccine my cause their baby harm. Studies have shown that the vaccine is perfectly safe for pregnant women.

The take away from this study appears to be that if you’re planning on getting pregnant – make sure that you are protected from influenza infection by getting the flu vaccine.  If possible, you might want to avoid conceiving in the month of May, and if you want a little bigger baby- try for the summer months.

Source: Alan Mozes, http://www.webmd.com/baby/news/20130708/month-of-conception-might-raise-...

Your Baby

Recall: 3.7 Million Graco Child Car Seats

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Graco is voluntarily recalling 3.7 million child car seats because the harness buckle can become stuck and difficult to release.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced Tuesday that Graco is recalling 11 of 18 model seats that the government agency had asked it to recall.

The NHTSA said the red release button in the center of the harness can become difficult to release and become stuck. Concern is that the stuck latch can make it difficult or impossible to remove the child quickly in an emergency.

Graco said it found that "that food and dried liquids can make some harness buckles progressively more difficult to open over time or become stuck in the latched position."

In a statement, Graco said the voluntary recall affects "harness buckles used on all toddler convertible car seats and harnessed booster seats manufactured from 2009 to July 2013."

"This is not a new issue for us," Graco spokeswoman Ashley Mowrey said, noting that all products sold since July don't have the same problem. "We've been working to help consumers for some time now."

The children's products company added that it was offering a "new and improved replacement harness buckle to affected customers at no cost." People can obtain one by calling 800-345-4109 or emailing consumerservices@gracobaby.com.

Graco’s website also offers tips for cleaning the harness buckle on its website:

  • To clean your buckle, turn the restraint over and push the retainer through the harness strap slot.  Place the buckle in a cup of warm water and gently agitate the buckle, pressing the red button several times while it is in the water. 
  • Do not submerge the harness webbing and do not use soaps or lubricants, only rinse the harness buckle with warm water.
  • Shake out the excess water and allow the harness buckle to air dry.
  • Reattach the harness buckle into the same slot and re-check harness for correct installation according to the car seat manual before use.

The website also has a video online to show consumers how to replace the harness button.

The NHTSA is still investigating Graco’s 7 remaining car seat models to determine if they should be recalled as well.

Graco believes parents should clean the harness button and continue to use the product until a replacement button arrives.

"This does not, in any way, affect the performance of the car seat or the effectiveness of the buckle to restrain a child," the company said.

However, The NHTSA said it "encourages parents and caregivers to consider acquiring an alternative car seat for transporting children until their Graco seat is fixed."

Graco says that no injuries associated with the recalled car seats have been reported.

The recall models include these toddler convertible car seats:

  • The Cozy Cline
  • Comfort Sport
  • Classic Ride 50
  • My Ride 65
  • My Ride 65 with Safety Surround
  • My Ride 70
  • Size4Me 70
  • My Size 70
  • Head Wise 70
  • Smart Seat.

The harnessed booster seats that are part of the recall are:

  • Nautilus 3-in-1
  • Nautilus Elite
  • Argos.

According to the government, the seven models that Graco isn't recalling despite being asked to do so by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are all infant seats. Specifically, they are:

  • Snugride,
  • Snugride 30
  • Snugride 32
  • Infant Safe Seat-Step 1
  • Snugride 35
  • Tuetonia 35
  • Snugride Click Connect 40

Asked about these models, Graco's spokeswoman said that any customers with those or other car seats can still call and get a new harness buckle sent to them for free.

"They are not officially recalled; however, customers experiencing any difficulty with their harness buckle can still get a new one," said Mowrey.

Sources: Greg Botelho, Mike Ahlers, http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/11/us/graco-child-seat-recall/

http://blog.gracobaby.com/2014/02/14/top-things-to-know-about-gracos-harness-buckle-recall/

Graco car set recall

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