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  1. #1
    CPST Instructor
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    Help me explain why a handle can up up on a bucket

    I have been having a FB chat with a friend about the allowable handle position on a bucket. She said I could C&P this here for more opinions.


    She asked about seeing buckets with the handle up and how to approach someone and tell them that that is wrong.

    (me)Many carseat you can have it all the way up or all the way down just not the middle positions.

    (her)from what I know your not supposed to have it up at all because of the way it will impact with the back of the seat in a collision

    (me)It was that way for a long time, but most of the manufactures have changed it to all the way up or all the way down. The handle used to not be reinforced so it would splinter and sent plastic shards everywhere, but now it is supposedly better.

    (her)from the videos I watched the reason it should not be up is because of the way it jars the seat

    (Me)what videos?

    (her)the videos we had to watch to get ds out of the hospital

    (me)the changes have all been in the last couple of years
    and the videos might have been a bit out of date

    (her)but...if it is just reinforced then it would jar against the seat more wouldnt it?

    (me)I had learned that it was because of plastic handle shattering, I have never heard of it "jarring" the seat

    if you have a good install, the handle should not jar the seat. the seat should tip towards the vehicle seat back and "cocoon" the baby in a crash

    (her)yeah that's what I mean

    if the handle is down (in the carry position) it will hit the back of the seat, instead of the seat moving to cradle the baby

    the videos showed that the seat should tilt forward toward the back of the seat when rear facing. but the handle would stop the tilting motion short.

    I am wondering if the handle should be down even with a new seat.

    (Me)I understand what you are saying. I will try and find a better explanation for you of why they say it is ok now



    So anyone have a better explanation for her?
    Jess, CPST and mom to 6 girls
    W(7/28) is rocking an Aton, S(3) rides in a Nextfit or RXT, O(6) has a Frontier 90, the big girls (9, 11) have Monterey Boosters and incognitos, and the oldest is 15, wears a seat belt and is driving!

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  3. #2
    CPST Instructor trippsmom's Avatar
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    Re: Help me explain why a handle can up up on a bucket

    In certain models such as Graco, Chicco, and some Safety First seats, it is allowable to have the handle in the up position. Some of us prefer to have a seat that allows this for multiple reasons, difficult/tight 3 across, user friendliness, and for most educated folks it is for it to act as an ARB (anti-rebound bar). "Cocooning" is not a bad thing per say, but it isn't an ideal situation. We'd prefer that the seat downward rotate as little as possible and as a law of motion, it will rebound toward the seat. As techs, etc., we'd prefer all of things be a little as possible. With older children this means making sure the seat is as upright as allowed so that downward rotation doesn't send the head of the seat so far toward the floor that it stays. At the same time, we'd not like an older child (or any child) to smack whatever is infront of them. That is why Britax and Sunshine Kids allow rear-facing tethering. You get downward rotation and the forward rotation is limited. Combi will hopefully offer it soon on the Coccoro, but if not, that is one benifit to the european belt path. It wraps around the back of the seat so that when the seatbelt locks, it decreases downward rotation therefore decreasing the chances of Cocooning. Again I state, "Cocooning isn't a "bad thing", but it isn't an ideal situation."


    But, yes, you were right... The reason some seats don't allow it is because they either do not have reinforced handles or don't want to put the $$ out there to test it so they just leave it alone and instruct parents to move the handle to a locked position behind the seat. I think it would be nice if all seats allowed for it to be up because so many people don't read their manuals.
    Rachel - CPST-I and Mommy to:
    Tripp - 12/22/07 48" and 45# FF FR85
    Aubrey - 11/20/09 38" and 33# ERF in an XTSL
    Bella- 7/13/11 33.5" 24#- XTSL and MySize70


  4. #3
    Car-Seat.Org Ambassador bree's Avatar
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    Re: Help me explain why a handle can up up on a bucket

    I have read here at c-s.org on several occasions that the engineers at Graco actually use their own Snugrides with the handle up. I don't know where the reference is for that, other than threads where it's discussed here on the board, but I think it's interesting that the Graco engineers would prefer to use the seat with the handle up, given that Graco also allows the handle to be in certain down positions.
    DD (9 years old) & DS (6.5 years old)

  5. #4
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Help me explain why a handle can up up on a bucket

    Actually, "All the way up or all the way down" is not the most common. The two most common requirements are "Down, behind the seat" and "Any locked position allowed" based on the chart I'm looking at...

    Graco allows all the way up or down behind the seat. Combi requires all the way up. Peg Perego only allows one position at the very top of the seat.

    It was posted on the CPSPlist that Graco engineers use their SRs with the handles up after seeing crash tests.

    Basically, those manufacturers who allow the handle to be up have reinforced the handle to withstand such use, and crash tested it, and found it crash-worthy. Those who do not allow such use have probably not reinforced it and/or have found it un-crash-worthy. The important thing is to read and follow your specific directions.

    When "up" is allowed I prefer it; I explain it to the parents as making kind of a "safety zone" or "shield" for the baby. When the baby's seat rebounds or rotates toward the back, either the seat with the baby in it is going to hit the vehicle seat, or the handle is going to hit the vehicle seat, and (assuming reinforcement and allowed use) is going to stop the seat before the baby's head/body hit the vehicle seat. That's why I prefer up; the seat, not the baby's body is doing all the impacting of the vehicle seat.
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 15, Bridget, 13, Maggie, 11, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, born May 2019,
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  6. #5
    CPS Technician CrunchyMaineMama's Avatar
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    Re: Help me explain why a handle can up up on a bucket

    I don't really have anything to add, but to put it in the most simple way (and correct me if I'm wrong) I would just say that a manufacturer wouldn't recommend a position if it wasn't crash test that way...
    Rachel-CPST & Mom to 4 Now!
    J-7 Recaro Performance/Nauti, A-4.5 Frontier 85/Nauti, O-3.5 RFing Size4Me/RXT and M-3.5, RFing Size4Me/RXT

  7. #6
    CPST Instructor
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    Re: Help me explain why a handle can up up on a bucket

    Thanks, I will forward the replies to her and any more that come in.

    Quote Originally Posted by ketchupqueen View Post
    Actually, "All the way up or all the way down" is not the most common. The two most common requirements are "Down, behind the seat" and "Any locked position allowed" based on the chart I'm looking at...

    Graco allows all the way up or down behind the seat. Combi requires all the way up. Peg Perego only allows one position at the very top of the seat.
    Quote Originally Posted by CrunchyMaineMama View Post
    I don't really have anything to add, but to put it in the most simple way (and correct me if I'm wrong) I would just say that a manufacturer wouldn't recommend a position if it wasn't crash test that way...

    The specific person/seat she was asking about originally was a Graco SS1. I cut a bunch of personal and chit-chat out to post what because the general question here, including to read the manual and follow the tested and approved methods.

    I did not know the Graco engineers used the seat handle up, that is defiantly food for thought.
    Jess, CPST and mom to 6 girls
    W(7/28) is rocking an Aton, S(3) rides in a Nextfit or RXT, O(6) has a Frontier 90, the big girls (9, 11) have Monterey Boosters and incognitos, and the oldest is 15, wears a seat belt and is driving!

  8. #7
    Carseat Crazy lil.miss32's Avatar
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    Re: Help me explain why a handle can up up on a bucket

    What about the Chicco handle? We've left ours down because the thought of plastic splinters in her head scares me. LOL.
    desiree'
    Michael (Autism), 3.5y, 43lbs, 43", FF'ing in a Nautilus
    Aunaliese (PDD-NOS), 26m, 22lbs, 33.5", RF'ing in a Multi Tech
    Missing baby Josef Rain (born sleeping 12.10.10)

  9. #8
    Moderator - CPS Technician BookMama's Avatar
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    Re: Help me explain why a handle can up up on a bucket

    The Keyfit handle can be in any locked position while in the vehicle.
    Andrea, CPST, Tech proxy, special Needs trained
    DS 4/01 - Seatbelt * DD1 11/05 - Oobr, PWSGL, Performance Booster
    DD2 10/09 - GN SS/Argos
    Plus a plethora of "spare" seats for everyone.

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  11. #9
    CPS Technician crunchierthanthou's Avatar
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    Re: Help me explain why a handle can up up on a bucket

    Quote Originally Posted by lil.miss32 View Post
    What about the Chicco handle? We've left ours down because the thought of plastic splinters in her head scares me. LOL.
    it can be in any locked position.

  12. #10
    Carseat Crazy lil.miss32's Avatar
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    Re: Help me explain why a handle can up up on a bucket

    Quote Originally Posted by BookMama View Post
    The Keyfit handle can be in any locked position while in the vehicle.
    Quote Originally Posted by crunchierthanthou View Post
    it can be in any locked position.
    What, in your opinion, is safest?
    desiree'
    Michael (Autism), 3.5y, 43lbs, 43", FF'ing in a Nautilus
    Aunaliese (PDD-NOS), 26m, 22lbs, 33.5", RF'ing in a Multi Tech
    Missing baby Josef Rain (born sleeping 12.10.10)

  13. #11
    CPS Technician crunchierthanthou's Avatar
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    Re: Help me explain why a handle can up up on a bucket

    Quote Originally Posted by lil.miss32 View Post
    What, in your opinion, is safest?
    Whichever you'll use correctly. We don't have any way to make a determination beyond that. I'd like to think that if one position was significantly more or less safe, the manufacturer's recommendation would reflect that. They say use any, so go with the one that is most convenient for you.

  14. #12
    Moderator - CPS Technician BookMama's Avatar
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    Re: Help me explain why a handle can up up on a bucket

    Quote Originally Posted by crunchierthanthou View Post
    Whichever you'll use correctly. We don't have any way to make a determination beyond that. I'd like to think that if one position was significantly more or less safe, the manufacturer's recommendation would reflect that. They say use any, so go with the one that is most convenient for you.
    I agree with Crunchy. However, I personally have made the decision to use it the handle in the "up" position on my DD's Keyfit. Partly because it's simply easier to get her in and out (she's in the middle 'cause that's how the seats fit together) and partly because I figure if there's a possibility that the "up" position provides some anti-rebound protection, I'd like that protection for my DD. However, I don't throw a fit when my 9YO puts the handle down so that he can see DD2 better and entertain her in the car.
    Andrea, CPST, Tech proxy, special Needs trained
    DS 4/01 - Seatbelt * DD1 11/05 - Oobr, PWSGL, Performance Booster
    DD2 10/09 - GN SS/Argos
    Plus a plethora of "spare" seats for everyone.

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