Car Seat Basics: Help! My Car Seat’s Box is Beat Up!

(Last Updated On: August 28, 2022)
A Damaged Car Seat Box

A Damaged Car Seat Box

We field a great many questions on our Facebook page and in the accompanying group. One common question is about torn, dented, or otherwise damaged car seat boxes that have been delivered. Sometimes, the box looks like it’s been in a fight. 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.

Graco Tranzitions SnugLock

Graco Tranzitions SnugLock

We recommend that 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 a registration card, both of these items should be attached to the seat at first, or they should be 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, cupholders, or the optional shoulder belt adjuster that’s part of some booster 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 cardwhile you’re thinking about it so you can be notified of any recalls or safety notices.

Boxes are very good at protecting car seats during shipping car seat box is beat up!

Boxes are very good at protecting car seats during shipping


We had some of our young models 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 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. In most cases, the car seat is just fine.