Frequently, on our Facebook group page, parents ask about torn, dented, or otherwise damaged car seat boxes that have been delivered in. Sometimes the box is beat up looking. The good news is that the cardboard boxes, even though they seem flimsy, are actually designed to protect the item they contain during the shipping process. Usually, car seats in boxes don’t have added packaging or foam, and that’s fine. Generally, they do a very good job because even if a box is torn or dented, usually the car seat is fine. Sometimes the box will cave in on an empty space or get torn where there is no car seat directly on the other side.
We recommend that parents and caregivers inspect their new car seat, whether it was delivered or picked up at a store, regardless of how the box appears. Look for defects and damage, and make sure all the parts are there. Your car seat needs to have a manual and warranty information and they should be attached to or somewhere on the seat. Be aware of small parts and other things in that might be in the box before you disassemble it or put it out with the trash. Common things that are lost or misplaced are items like the screws that come with some Graco Turbobooster seats or the rear facing tether connector strap (“D-ring”) which comes with certain convertible seats. You may want to keep your box “broken down” in case you need to ship your car seat at some point. We’d recommend shipping the seat in its original box, or failing that, in a shipping box with packaging materials, should it ever need to be shipped.
This is also a good time to fill out the warranty card, while you’re thinking about it, so you can be notified of any recalls or safety notices.
We had some of our Littles demonstrate the strength of a car seat box – including one furry Little or who didn’t want to be left out. You can rest assured the box was designed to safely transport your seat from Amazon.com all the way to your doorstep.
If you feel uncomfortable deciding whether your new car seat is unsafe, because the box was severely damaged or the seat appears to be damaged or worn, contact the manufacturer. They’ll likely want to see pictures so they can assess the situation. Usually, the car seat is just fine.