Reply Hey Mom! Learn more about the Gerber Life Insurance Grow-Up Plan!
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-19-2007, 11:41 AM   #41
soygurl's Avatar
soygurl
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: missing Seattle
Posts: 700
My Mood:
Re: Carseat covers, strap pads, and piddle pads - PUBLIC SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENT

Quote:
Originally Posted by andivebeen View Post
This doesn't make sense to me Because they haven't tested it, it WILL KILL AND TERRIBLY MAIME your child?? Does anyone here drive above 30mph? Cause, you know, they don't test the carseats past that constraint, either. IMO current crash testing on "child restraint devices" is a joke.

Oh, and of course manufacturers aren't going to take the heat if you use an aftermarket product. They will find every possible way to get out of liability.

Heck, putting YOUR CHILD in a carseat is an "aftermarket product" Unless they did those crash tests with your exact child in the seat. Even then, its STILL not exactly right, since your kid has probably grown/gained/lost weight since last week.

Use you common sense, drive carefully, and try not to stress about all the fearmongering going on...just my
You know, I really DO understand where you're coming from. Some of these "aftermarket products" are REALLY unlikely to cause any problem in a crash (I can say that since I'm not a CPST).

I've done some research on physics and crash dynamics. I'm confident that I have at least a basic understanding of how CSRs (child safety restraints) work; and somethings (like piddle pads, very think upholstery protectors like the PP has, etc.) just don't seem to pose much of a threat. BUT other things... eek.

There ARE products that I could see contributing to the "KILL[ing] AND TERRIBLY MAIME[ing]" of a child in a collision. Things that affect the instillation of a car seat (like a thick, hard seat protector, or the "mighty tight") could do serious damage in a crash. Things that add a bunch of padding ("snuzzler," fluffy winter coats, some strap covers) COULD easily compress in a crash allowing the child to be ejected from the seat. Toys attached to an upright handle of an infant "bucket" seat could hit a child in a crash, probably causing some superficial injury, but I could see one possibly causing a sever head injury in the right (wrong) circumstances. Same with mirrors or DVD players that aren't securely attached to the vehicle. I've read many entries from a list of NHTSA (I think) crash reports detailing injuries and several mentioned children injured from poorly secured DVD players, and similar objects. Those CAN be a REAL risk! So if you feel it's necessary to use something like that, SECURE IT VERY WELL! Crash forces (even at low speed collisions) are extremely strong.

Really though, I think you DO have a point. Some aftermarket products are probably fine. Sure, they could allow a car seat company to wiggle out of liability if their seat REALLY DID FAIL, but hey, honesty, I'm more worried about the loose harness straps, and poor instillations of CSRs! Those are what really cause injuries and death.

Oh, and one last thing, you said something about crash tests being a joke.
While the standards aren't as hight as I would like them, they really aren't a joke by any means. Collisions above 30/35 mph are EXTREMELY destructive and often not survivable. I know what you're thinking, "uh... what about all the highway accidents I hear about everyday?!?! People survive those!" True, but in many of those collisions, someone slammed on the brake before the collision and slowed their car drastically before the collision. Crash tests are done to simulate a car driving 30mph into a brick wall, not someone driving 30mph, seeing another car a second before they hit and slamming on the brake. besides, even very low speed collisions can be very deadly to children! Sure, adults might do fine in a low speed collision, but children are a totally different subject. Car seats are designed to protect children in collisions to a similar degree (hopefully better, but maybe not by much) as adults already are.

Advertisement

__________________
~Kelsie ~CPST~~future CDing, AP mama~
~ Auntie to O (6/08), W (3), L (3), J (7), J (13), M (14), H (15) ~
CASA to "Jenny" (15) ~
soygurl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2007, 01:03 PM   #42
ClothMom
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: California
Posts: 120
My Mood:
Re: Carseat covers, strap pads, and piddle pads - PUBLIC SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENT

Yes, I would think that it is okay, because you are adjusting it to fit her properly. I have to adjust my DS's straps depending on which diaper he is wearing. If he's wearing one that is really trim, we have to make the straps tighter, so that it fits him properly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mama2iliana View Post
When my dd rides in the car with her night time CD on, I have to adjust the straps. Is this OK? She is 35 months, 30 lbs and in a forward facing carseat - Britax Roundabout or Evenflow
ClothMom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2007, 01:16 PM   #43
Heather8183's Avatar
Heather8183
Registered Users
seller
seller
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 9,755
Re: Carseat covers, strap pads, and piddle pads - PUBLIC SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENT

I haven't gone through this whole thread, I just haven't had time...what is wrong with the mighty tight? Can someone tell me why its not safe? Thanks!
Heather8183 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2007, 03:09 PM   #44
soygurl's Avatar
soygurl
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: missing Seattle
Posts: 700
My Mood:
Re: Carseat covers, strap pads, and piddle pads - PUBLIC SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heather8183 View Post
I haven't gone through this whole thread, I just haven't had time...what is wrong with the mighty tight? Can someone tell me why its not safe? Thanks!

This page
explains much better than I ever could why the "mighty tight" is such a bad product.
__________________
~Kelsie ~CPST~~future CDing, AP mama~
~ Auntie to O (6/08), W (3), L (3), J (7), J (13), M (14), H (15) ~
CASA to "Jenny" (15) ~

Last edited by soygurl; 12-21-2007 at 03:11 PM.
soygurl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-29-2008, 10:17 PM   #45
MarinesFamily5's Avatar
MarinesFamily5
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: NC, hoping to stay put for awhile
Posts: 2,532
My Mood:
Re: Carseat covers, strap pads, and piddle pads - PUBLIC SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENT

while were at it......
ya know the little mirrors that you use to see baby?... not tested and considered unsafe
seat protectors to save your vehicles upholstery... most aren't tested and are condidered unsafe also.

yet I have seen a techs with all kinds of "paraphernalia" in their cars and I am personally not an alarmist. we use a seat cover on our seat that was not made by manufacturer, we use a mirror, strap covers, we also have a bench seat cover so the kids seats don't destroy the upholstery.... that being said...

I think alot of it is common sence based.... like the big coats!

I think its also a matter of evaluating what you need... and using the safest possible to fit that need
like the strap covers... I have the ones from BRU that are thin like the britax ones... we have a seat cover that was sewn from a OEM cover so everything matches up perfect and nothing interferes with belt positioning or pathways...
now I am not horribly concerned about the warranty because I keep my original covers, and if the seat should fail I have a strong feeling they would find SOME way out of responsibility anyways...
However thats MY view.

I don't think these products directly caused deaths or they would no longer be sold KWIM?

I know you may not all agree, you don't have to. but I do not love my kids less or worry about their safety less. I am simply making an informed decision and would appreciate it if that was respected.
__________________
Breana-
Marinewife and SAHM to 3
Bubba 4/04 Princess 12/05 Peanut aka "D" 5/07
MarinesFamily5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-29-2008, 10:22 PM   #46
MarinesFamily5's Avatar
MarinesFamily5
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: NC, hoping to stay put for awhile
Posts: 2,532
My Mood:
Re: Carseat covers, strap pads, and piddle pads - PUBLIC SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENT

BTW: I took my truck to a "safety seat inspection event" when I worked at BRU... they mentioned to me the mirrors and sun shades but said nothing about my cover.

I was one of a handful of people whos seats were correctly installed and they did 100 inspections that day ....

that is the most important thing I think.. making sure its in right ot begin with!

one of the biggest things I see is people driving with the infant seat handle up! now that is seriously dangerous!
__________________
Breana-
Marinewife and SAHM to 3
Bubba 4/04 Princess 12/05 Peanut aka "D" 5/07

Last edited by MarinesFamily5; 02-29-2008 at 10:25 PM.
MarinesFamily5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-29-2008, 10:34 PM   #47
Ali's Avatar
Ali
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 3,322
My Mood:
Re: Carseat covers, strap pads, and piddle pads - PUBLIC SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENT

I just read the mighty-tight post and this caught my eye:

Quote:
So while such a product may have some use for a client who is trying to correctly use their car seat but simply cannot tighten the belt appropriately (because of injury, illness or physical disability), it should not be viewed by the general public as the "required separate tightening tool that will enable everyone to easily and safely secure the child seat without exerting a great deal of effort."
So this makes me think if you can't get that seat tight enough because you aren't physically able to than its o.k. to use or did I misread?

My in-laws who shuttle around kids for some of their less fortunate fellow church goers, and have to move carseats back and forth between cars, use these to get their carseats snug. There really is no way in their physical condition they could get them that snug w/o this product. So in this situation isn't it better to use this product then to not use this product?
__________________
Ali, Loving Wife to Bill and Mom to Keegan (7) and Brodin (3 1/2) and baby Finn!!!

Ali is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2008, 08:14 PM   #48
fotoe's Avatar
fotoe
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Austin
Posts: 464
Re: Carseat covers, strap pads, and piddle pads - PUBLIC SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENT

I've never heard anything about the infant seat handle being up, being unsafe...can someone tell me about that?
__________________
Megan, wife...and mom to my chunky monkey/baby girl, born in 2007, and second chunky monkey/baby girl born in 2009
fotoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2008, 02:09 AM   #49
snowbird25ca's Avatar
snowbird25ca
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 521
My Mood:
Re: Carseat covers, strap pads, and piddle pads - PUBLIC SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENT

I'm just going to try and tackle the most recent questions one at a time here as best I can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarinesFamily5 View Post
one of the biggest things I see is people driving with the infant seat handle up! now that is seriously dangerous!
In some seats, this is dangerous, in other seats it's allowed, and in other seats it is MANDATORY to leave the handle in the carry position in the car. It is absolutely essential that the carseat manual is read and that the seat is used properly and the handle put in whatever position that is designated for travel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali View Post
I just read the mighty-tight post and this caught my eye


So this makes me think if you can't get that seat tight enough because you aren't physically able to than its o.k. to use or did I misread?

My in-laws who shuttle around kids for some of their less fortunate fellow church goers, and have to move carseats back and forth between cars, use these to get their carseats snug. There really is no way in their physical condition they could get them that snug w/o this product. So in this situation isn't it better to use this product then to not use this product?
The danger with the mighty tite is that you can overtighten the seatbelt without even realizing it. You don't need super human strength to tighten and properly install a seat. I recently did a seatcheck for a grandmother who had arthritis, and she was able to tighten the lapbelt up so that the seat was rock solid.

It's also important to define a tight enough install. As long as there is less than 1" of movement side to side or front to back, then the seat is in there perfectly fine. Not all seats will install perfectly tight in all vehicles, and not everybody can install a seat perfectly tight. I always tell parents that just because I can get the seat rock the car tight, doesn't mean that they have a bad install if they have 5/8" movement. As long as there's less than 1" side to side, they're fine.

The other option with grandparents is that unless they have full custody of the child when the seat has to be moved, there is always going to be another adult dropping the child off or transferring the child. It is completely appropriate, and much preferable, to have that adult assist in tightening the seatbelt if help is needed.

Some vehicles have more difficulty with getting carseats installed than others. If they take their vehicle and carseats to a tech, there may be a simple trick they can use to safely install the seats and get rid of the mighty tite. I have heard techs speak of seatbelts that are literally torn when the mighty tite is completely removed - to the point where the belt has to be replaced. If you were in a crash without knowing the seatbelt was in that condition, you'd have an unrestrained carseat, and a projectile from the mighty tite.

One last issue... Seatbelts are designed to stretch a certain amount in a crash. The mighty tite ratchets the seatbelt to the point where the stretch may not occur at all, and this will change how the vehicle seatbelt performs just in restraining the carseat.

So yeah, while there may be an extremely rare case where it could be beneficial, I would NEVER recommend it and would have many ideas and alternative to get seats installed properly without the use of it. I'm betting if your parents go to see a tech they'll be able to learn to get their seats in without using the mighty tite too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fotoe View Post
I've never heard anything about the infant seat handle being up, being unsafe...can someone tell me about that?
Some infant seat handles aren't reinforced, so on rebound if they hit the vehicle seatback, they can shatter and injure or kill a child. Recently made Graco Snugride's and all Graco Safeseat 1's allow the handle to be all the way up when in the car. The combi infant seats require that the handle ALWAYS be up when in the car. Evenflo, safety 1st, peg perego and the rest of them require the handle be down when in the car.

My instructor when I took my course related to us a crash scene she had been to where an infant had been restrained in an evenflo carrier. The parent had not put the handle down, and in the crash the handle shattered - one of the shards went into the neck of the infant severing the main blood vessel in the neck. The baby bled to death on the scene. (My instructor is also a paramedic and volunteer firefighter, so had been to numerous crash scenes.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarinesFamily5 View Post
while were at it......
ya know the little mirrors that you use to see baby?... not tested and considered unsafe
seat protectors to save your vehicles upholstery... most aren't tested and are condidered unsafe also.

yet I have seen a techs with all kinds of "paraphernalia" in their cars and I am personally not an alarmist. we use a seat cover on our seat that was not made by manufacturer, we use a mirror, strap covers, we also have a bench seat cover so the kids seats don't destroy the upholstery.... that being said...

I think alot of it is common sence based.... like the big coats!

I think its also a matter of evaluating what you need... and using the safest possible to fit that need
like the strap covers... I have the ones from BRU that are thin like the britax ones... we have a seat cover that was sewn from a OEM cover so everything matches up perfect and nothing interferes with belt positioning or pathways...
now I am not horribly concerned about the warranty because I keep my original covers, and if the seat should fail I have a strong feeling they would find SOME way out of responsibility anyways...
However thats MY view.

I don't think these products directly caused deaths or they would no longer be sold KWIM?

I know you may not all agree, you don't have to. but I do not love my kids less or worry about their safety less. I am simply making an informed decision and would appreciate it if that was respected.
Herein lies the problem - kids do die from an improperly tightened harness. While some products may not pose a risk of catastrophic failure, others definitely do. Saying just because something is sold it must be safe is a very big fallacy when it comes to aftermarket products. There is nothing governing the safety of them - there are no standards.

Add to that, that the carseat manufacturer tells you not to use it, and the manufacturer really has no liability - "your carseat manufacture told you not to use this, but you did anyways. Just because your child died with our product in your seat doesn't make it our fault. It's your fault for not following the directions."

Ultimately, it is your decision to make as a parent. If you're evaluating the risks and deciding that you're going to pick and choose which ones you think are ok, then that's your perogative. It doesn't change the fact that some of what you're doing could compromise an installation or the performance of the seat in a crash.

There are some things that I put fully in the parental discretion arena - mirrors for rf'ing babies are one of those things. That is the one aftermarket product I have in my vehicle and I put it in so that I could visually confirm the angle of his seat was correct when he fell asleep. We don't have any heavy toys though, and I can tell you I'd never in a million years put aftermarket harness pads on my seats - and if a parent came in to a seat check with them on, I'd remove them the same way I remove cuddle bags and have parents remove snowsuits.

Seat protectors - The problem with them is two-fold. First they can downright interfere with the installation of the seat making it difficult to get it installed properly. Secondly, they can make a poor installation seem tight.
Current recommendation is moving away from using shelf liner in vehicles with leather seats because if you are needing something sticky to hold the seat from moving, chances are you don't have the belts tight enough.

As for protecting vehicle upholstery, dents pop out. A car seat really isn't going to gouge up the vehicle interior - but if you're really worried get just a very thin towel and lay it down. Thin as in so worn out you wouldn't use it to shower with - or even just a cotton tea-towel (not a knit one,) or a pillow case. Parents worry about the vehicle seat getting damaged, but it just isn't something I've seen IRL.

As for seat covers - what's the thickness like? Are they flame retardant? There's more to a cover than just the harness lining up. Did you know that Graco had a recall on a small batch of seats because the seats had 1/2" extra foam on the seat pad. That 1/2" extra foam was enough that they issued a recall for the 18 affected seats.

Ultimately people can justify the decisions that they make saying that the carseat manufacturer will just get out of liability anyways, or that it won't really make a difference. But honestly, when it comes down to it, wouldn't you want to know that you had done every single thing by the book to know that your child had the most protection possible?

I definitely believe there are some products worse than others, but why use any when they're not necessary. If you want a seat with strap covers, then buy one with strap covers or order them from the manufacturer if they're available.

Any amount of risk is never worth it. If there was an extra .1% chance that your child could die because of the aftermarket products, would you still use them? Do you have any way of knowing for sure that there isn't an extra .1% chance?

We all want our kids as safe as possible. Instead of trying to rationalize why it's ok to not follow the manual and rationalize why it's ok to use aftermarket products, why not just follow the manual and provide our kids with the optimum protection? That is the way to keep our kids as safe as possible.

Trudy ~ Child Restraint Systems Technician.
__________________
Trudy - Wife to Keith & mommy to Jillian and Jonas.
Canadian Children Restraint Systems Technician Instructor
Ebay Feedback

Last edited by snowbird25ca; 03-04-2008 at 02:15 AM.
snowbird25ca is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2008, 02:31 AM   #50
snowbird25ca's Avatar
snowbird25ca
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 521
My Mood:
Re: Carseat covers, strap pads, and piddle pads - PUBLIC SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENT

Quote:
Originally Posted by andivebeen View Post
This doesn't make sense to me Because they haven't tested it, it WILL KILL AND TERRIBLY MAIME your child?? Does anyone here drive above 30mph? Cause, you know, they don't test the carseats past that constraint, either. IMO current crash testing on "child restraint devices" is a joke.

Oh, and of course manufacturers aren't going to take the heat if you use an aftermarket product. They will find every possible way to get out of liability.

Heck, putting YOUR CHILD in a carseat is an "aftermarket product" Unless they did those crash tests with your exact child in the seat. Even then, its STILL not exactly right, since your kid has probably grown/gained/lost weight since last week.
Someone has already touched on this, but I wanted to provide some further information...

Nobody is saying that using these aftermarket products will definitely maim or kill your child - but the potential is there. If it's not crash tested with the seat, you don't know how it will affect the performance. Maybe it wouldn't, but there's no way to know. Personally speaking, I wouldn't want my child to be that crash test dummy to prove that product "x" is indeed a fatal product.

Less than 5% of all crashes happen at speeds above 30mph. The force actually transferred to the child in the carseat is also not the same force as the speed of impact because the crumple zones in the vehicle absorb some of the force and provide a "ride down" time. Add to that factor that there is usually breaking involved, it is a very rare crash that would be above that speed, and as someone already stated, in many instances it would be fatal to everyone in the vehicle.

There are 3 parts to a crash - vehicle into object, person into restraint, internal organs into body. If you're driving 70mph and hit a brick wall, your internal organs are going to impact your skull and ribs and abdomen at that speed, and the brain stem is almost never going to survive an impact like that.

That being said, some carseat manufacturers are starting to test their seats at NCAP speeds which is 35mph instead of 30mph. With only the 5mph difference in speed, it appears that g forces on some areas of the body are doubled. It could be that standards change to require that carseats meet standards at the NCAP speed of 35mph.

As for your child being an "aftermarket product," while I know it was tongue-in-cheek & joking, carseats are tested with multiple sizes of dummies representing different ages and weights. When your child is within the range specified by the manufacturer, they are within the range of the different crash test dummies and the manufacturer knows how the seat will perform provided you've installed it properly and tightened the harness properly. This is also why it's so very important to follow the manufacturer stated guidelines - never exceed weight limits, use the correct strap height for your child, be aware of how to tell if a seat is outgrown by height even if your child is still within the weight range.

Yes, a child is more likely to be seriously injured or killed if their seat is installed improperly or the harness is much too loose, but if there's any chance of an aftermarket product increasing the risk to your child, is it a risk you'd want to take?

FWIW, if a seat obviously failed in a crash it'd be pretty easy to prove & NHTSA would get involved, so it wouldn't just be a matter of the manufacturer trying to escape liability. Crash investigators also are often able to tell if the carseat was being properly used or not. But if you're using an aftermarket cover, you've altered the seat. If the shell splits in 2, that's likely to not be affected by having an aftermarket cover on the seat... but something else might be.

The point remains, that we all want our kids as safe as possible in the car, and if there's something that can be done to increase their safety, then why not do it? It might seem like something to get upset and defend, but really, it's a pretty simple thing to not use after market products - and if the only effect will be to increase your child's safety, why not do it?
__________________
Trudy - Wife to Keith & mommy to Jillian and Jonas.
Canadian Children Restraint Systems Technician Instructor
Ebay Feedback
snowbird25ca is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Copyright 2005 - 2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.