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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy
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    After-market products

    So we have one. It's a Fisher-Price mirror that is attached to the backseat passenger headrest and tethered to the top tether hook of my car.
    I know it's probably not the safest thing to do but whenever I am driving, I just want to make sure that my son is alright. Not choking on spit or whatever.
    I have tried removing it because I really want to keep my son as safe as possible but I just find myself craning my neck and looking back over my shoulder ALL THE TIME. Far more dangerous to my son, myself and other drivers.
    Is there a compromise here?

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician crunchierthanthou's Avatar
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    Re: After-market products

    It doesn't affect the installation of the carseat, but can become a projectile. Really, it depends on how you feel about it hitting your son in the face going 75 mph. Is it soft sided? Is it mylar instead of hard plastic? Even at around half a pound, it would effectively weigh over 35 lbs in a crash at interstate speeds. If it is made of all soft materials, you have your radian tethered rf and the mirror is tethered to the tether anchor of your vehicle, I would leave it to parental discretion.

  4. #3
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    Re: After-market products

    Quote Originally Posted by crunchierthanthou View Post
    Even at around half a pound, it would effectively weigh over 35 lbs in a crash at interstate speeds.
    this is assuming that it is a free-moving object, not attached to anything. by the time the anchoring breaks, much if not most of the crash force has been managed and distributed, and little force will be left.

    we have a F-P mirror that also attaches to the top tether anchor. the way i see it, it would take at least 25 lb of force (IME) to break that mirror free, so i'm confident that in a crash, it'll stay anchored. i recall weighing it on our letter scale, and it's only a few ounces... can't remember exactly.
    Two girls, 7 and 6. Trek Mountain, Specialized Hotrock, Soma Buena Vista, Bike Friday tandem, and multiple other bikes. Oh, and a Mazda5.

  5. #4
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    Re: After-market products

    Quote Originally Posted by southpawboston View Post
    this is assuming that it is a free-moving object, not attached to anything. by the time the anchoring breaks, much if not most of the crash force has been managed and distributed, and little force will be left.

    we have a F-P mirror that also attaches to the top tether anchor. the way i see it, it would take at least 25 lb of force (IME) to break that mirror free, so i'm confident that in a crash, it'll stay anchored. i recall weighing it on our letter scale, and it's only a few ounces... can't remember exactly.
    I agree with this. If the mirror is anchored in 2 places, as the OP said it is, even when the anchoring of it comes loose, it would not be traveling at 35mph. I agree this would be the case of some that do not attach as well as the OPs seems to. AND I have to agree that turning around to check on your child is far more dangerous.
    Lori (I drive Cadillac Escalade ESV) SAHM to Brooks 9/13/01 seatbelt only, Brady 7/4/03 seatbelt only, Kinsadie 2/23/08 Pink Britax Frontier, and Brakin David 6/7/10 FF in a cowmooflage Britax Frontier Clicktight

  6. #5
    Senior Community Member scatterbunny's Avatar
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    Re: After-market products

    As a tech I HAVE TO explain that aftermarket products void your carseat warranty, and in the case of mirrors, toys and window clings, they can become projectiles as well. But ultimately it is a parental decision, as all are. You've weighed the pros and cons, and made the decision.

    As a parent, I'd probably feel fine using a mirror that attached to the tether anchor securely.
    ~Jenny

    "When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people." ~Abraham Joshua Hesche

  7. #6
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus UlrikeDG's Avatar
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    Re: After-market products

    As a tech, I had to recommend parents remove such products. As a parent, I only felt comfortable using them with a seat that could not rebound, either because it was equipped with a rear facing tether or because it had an anti-rebound "bar".
    Ulrike, mom to:
    Roman (3/98), Evalina (3/00), Nadia (3/03), and Kira (11/07)


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  8. #7
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    Re: After-market products

    Quote Originally Posted by crunchierthanthou View Post
    It doesn't affect the installation of the carseat, but can become a projectile. Really, it depends on how you feel about it hitting your son in the face going 75 mph.
    Just a note of skepticism about this dramatic statement -- first, the projectile will probably not be moving at 75 mph, since it would be slowed down before breaking loose from its attachment points; second, and more importantly, if you are implying a crash at 75 mph, a flying mirror will be the least of one's troubles -- that is likely to be in the unsurvivable category. I personally would probably be comfortable using a light mirror attached in the way the OP described; I know aftermarket items are not recommended, but I have been leaning toward getting one of these mirrors myself.

    Katrin

  9. #8
    CPS Technician Holly's Avatar
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    Re: After-market products

    I have mirrors in my car, I got the sunshine kids easy view mirrors because they are really easy to use and they hook securely onto the headrests and they are crash tested. Also, my 2 year old is RF and I Have to have a mirror to keep her RF. I felt like having a mirror but rearfacing was a better option than Forward facing. She is also in a Radian that is tethered. My other daughter has a mirror too, but she is in a scenera.
    Mom to:
    Hannah 11 Graco Connext, Abby 10 Graco Connext, Josh 7 Recaro Performance Booster, and Zach 2 1/2 Sunshine Kids Radian 80.

  10. #9
    CPS Technician crunchierthanthou's Avatar
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    Re: After-market products

    I'd like to think it's not going to be in issue, but I also like to think I'm never going to be in a crash. Like I said before, if it's a mirror made of soft materials used with a seat that is tethered rf and the item is connected to two points, I'm not going to tell you not to use it. I do think in this case that it is a safer option than repeatedly turning and craning to see an infant over the tall shell of a radian.

    However, I stand by my statement. I feel all aftermarket products must be viewed this way. There are no standards to which they are manufactured or tested. It's not known at what point they may fail. It's certainly not the largest concern in a severe crash, but it is a still a concern. You must consider whether you are comfortable with the idea of it breaking loose on imapct and hitting your child. If any passenger has a chance at surviving a severe crash, the best odds are on the one who is rf in a 5 pt harness.

  11. #10
    Senior Community Member scatterbunny's Avatar
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    Re: After-market products

    Quote Originally Posted by crunchierthanthou View Post
    I feel all aftermarket products must be viewed this way. There are no standards to which they are manufactured or tested. It's not known at what point they may fail. It's certainly not the largest concern in a severe crash, but it is a still a concern. You must consider whether you are comfortable with the idea of it breaking loose on imapct and hitting your child. If any passenger has a chance at surviving a severe crash, the best odds are on the one who is rf in a 5 pt harness.
    This was worth repeating. Many aftermarket products boast that they have been crash-tested; sure, the company making them could have crash-tested them, any way they feel like, because there are no set performance standards for aftermarket products like there are for carseats. The company can say, "my mirror is crash-tested!" and it could mean almost anything.

    If a parent has weighed the benefits and the risks (including projectile hazard and voiding carseat warranty) and still chooses to use the aftermarket product, that's totally up to them. At least I've done my job as a tech of educating about the pros and cons.
    ~Jenny

    "When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people." ~Abraham Joshua Hesche

  12. #11
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    Re: After-market products

    Quote Originally Posted by Holly View Post
    I have mirrors in my car, I got the sunshine kids easy view mirrors because they are really easy to use and they hook securely onto the headrests and they are crash tested.
    FWIW, they can LEGALLY throw it against a wall and call it crash tested. The phrase is meaningless when it comes to aftermarket products.
    Rebekah Branch, CPST from May 2005 until June 2011
    Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
    "That which you create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on."
    - Denis Waitley

  13. #12
    CPS Technician crunchierthanthou's Avatar
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    Re: After-market products

    Quote Originally Posted by skaterbabscpst View Post
    FWIW, they can LEGALLY throw it against a wall and call it crash tested. The phrase is meaningless when it comes to aftermarket products.
    I love when you make that statement. It's one of my favorites of all time and I have to refrain from quoting you every time "crash tested" aftermarket products come up.

  14. #13
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    Re: After-market products

    LMAO
    I heard it from another tech years ago. I can't even remember which one(s) first told me.
    Rebekah Branch, CPST from May 2005 until June 2011
    Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
    "That which you create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on."
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  15. #14
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    Re: After-market products

    Quote Originally Posted by scatterbunny View Post
    As a tech I HAVE TO explain that aftermarket products void your carseat warranty
    i've never understood this claim, despite reading here many times. can you qualify this statement some more? i really don't understand how a mirror can void your carseat warranty. warranties are for defects in materials and workanship. so if the recline mechanism on a MA breaks, or a HUGS rips, is britax going to say "sorry, we can't fix that, you have a mirror/window cling//DVD player/stroller/ in your car"? in what scenario can you envision a warranty repair being declined because of the use of an afermarket product (specifically, one which does not interfere with the installation and/or use of the carseat?
    Two girls, 7 and 6. Trek Mountain, Specialized Hotrock, Soma Buena Vista, Bike Friday tandem, and multiple other bikes. Oh, and a Mazda5.

  16. #15
    CPS Technician Splash's Avatar
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    Re: After-market products

    Quote Originally Posted by southpawboston View Post
    i've never understood this claim, despite reading here many times. can you qualify this statement some more? i really don't understand how a mirror can void your carseat warranty. warranties are for defects in materials and workanship. so if the recline mechanism on a MA breaks, or a HUGS rips, is britax going to say "sorry, we can't fix that, you have a mirror/window cling//DVD player/stroller/ in your car"? in what scenario can you envision a warranty repair being declined because of the use of an afermarket product (specifically, one which does not interfere with the installation and/or use of the carseat?

    People here throw that around all the time, and I think they are misusing the term warranty, when it means releases the company from liability. The latter still is not completely true, even if a company says it. Anyone who thinks it is has never met a personal injury attorney. If I can break into someones house and cut myself on a kitchen knife and get half a million, I guarantee you that no one is going to care about my clip on cup holder, headrest mirror, head snuzzler, or anything else if the harness rips out and injures or kills my kid.

    That said, I had a mirror in the car with Charlie, more to entertain him than anything else. And to the best of my knowledge it is now in AJ's car in front of a SnugRide. It's a sassy one (I think) that is meant to go in a crib. I've double knotted it around the headrest and I'm fine with it. It's foam and mylar... oh, and one little hard plastic ball that spins.
    I'm glad you're a safe driver. I'm eating cereal and applying mascara using my rear view mirror while playing bejeweled on my iPhone. And I'm driving right behind you. 
    You're only as safe as the most dangerous driver on the road. Buckle accordingly.  

  17. #16
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    Re: After-market products

    Quote Originally Posted by Splash View Post
    People here throw that around all the time, and I think they are misusing the term warranty, when it means releases the company from liability. The latter still is not completely true, even if a company says it. Anyone who thinks it is has never met a personal injury attorney.
    my father was an attorney, so i gotcha

    and to repeat what you said, yes, having a disclaimer that use of aftermarket products relieves a carseat company from ANY liability is meaningless, just as meaningless as you guys consider the term "crash tested" for an aftermarket product. if a dorel seat causes injury or death to an occupant because their head smashed into the notch in the side of the shell, and it's proven forensically, the company can't waive the aftermarket flag in their defense. the only way they can be released from any liability is if it is proven forensically that the aftermartet item *caused the failure*.

    i realize that as techs you need to discourage use of aftermarket products categorically, as opposed to common sensically (is that even a word?). but do you discourage kiddos from wearing shoes in the car? because in a 75mph crash, those shoes are most definitely becoming projectiles way before any lightweight anchored mirror (since it takes less than a pound or two of force to take off a toddler shoe). and a shoe that weighs only a few ounces is the same as how many pounds at 75 mph?
    Two girls, 7 and 6. Trek Mountain, Specialized Hotrock, Soma Buena Vista, Bike Friday tandem, and multiple other bikes. Oh, and a Mazda5.

  18. #17
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus UlrikeDG's Avatar
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    Re: After-market products

    OTOH, the manufacturer could still argue that the mirror may have contributed to the injury, thus reducing their liability.
    Ulrike, mom to:
    Roman (3/98), Evalina (3/00), Nadia (3/03), and Kira (11/07)


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  19. #18
    nderwater
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    Re: After-market products

    Quote Originally Posted by grumpybear View Post
    I have tried removing [the mirror] because I really want to keep my son as safe as possible but I just find myself craning my neck and looking back over my shoulder ALL THE TIME. Far more dangerous to my son, myself and other drivers.
    Let's keep things in perspective here. If you're not concentrating on driving, your chances of having an accident, and injuring your child, are sky high. For the safety of your child - and mine, and everyone else on the road - stop putting your worries about the minutia of your child's safety over the job at hand: driving your car.

  20. #19
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: After-market products

    ^Which is precisely why I started a thread asking for ideas. Your snarky comment is really not appreciated when I was asking for constructive help.

  21. #20
    CPS Technician Kalinky's Avatar
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    Re: After-market products

    Quote Originally Posted by nderwater View Post
    Let's keep things in perspective here. If you're not concentrating on driving, your chances of having an accident, and injuring your child, are sky high. For the safety of your child - and mine, and everyone else on the road - stop putting your worries about the minutia of your child's safety over the job at hand: driving your car.
    Yeah - and anyone with a forward facing child NEVER looks at them in the rear view mirror, right? And the whole world is not texting and talking on their cell phones, right? I personally think a glance in the rear view mirror (reflected from a soft and secured mirror on the headrest) to check on my RF child is fine.

    The issues of having a mirror are stated. It them becomes the parents decision. End of story.

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