does anyone have any good information on why aftermarket products are dangerous?

Austins-mama

New member
I have the manufacturers statements but I'm wondering if anyone has any other links etc explaining why aftermarkets are dangerous.

Instead of me just writing out that they haven't been tested with the seat - they can inferere with the seats performance etc etc.
 
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joolsplus3

Admin - CPS Technician
Not really, no. No aftermarket products have ever been implicated in serious child injury (in any lawsuit or study that I've seen). Except I think there was a 3 point infant seat with a bundle me that the child actually was ejected completely (it's a slide some techs got to see in their class, just the empty seat with the bundle me-type product, I don't know how badly the child was injured, though).

There's a good blog entry about seat protectors that DO interfere with good installations, though... http://carseatblog.com/?s=protectors

Mostly I try to couch it in terms of common sense... a pad under the baby can interfere with the harness, thick strap covers prevent the harness from being as tight as it should, thick mats on seats can lead to a poor installation, mirrors and toys may break loose and hit a child or other passenger. Knowing that 99% of people are making some other mistake with their seat, a product like this might be the straw that breaks the camel's back, so to speak...maybe the loose harness wasn't bad, but adding JJCole strap pads makes it just that much looser and increases the risk of injury, for example.
:)
 

Jonah Baby

New member
Say, for instance, your Graco SnugRide COMES with the cute little "head cradler" for newborns, can you assume those are ok for use?
 

Evolily

New member
Say, for instance, your Graco SnugRide COMES with the cute little "head cradler" for newborns, can you assume those are ok for use?

Yep, anything that comes with the car seat is OK to use as long as you use it per the manual (lots of manuals say remove after X weight or height)

It's also ok to use things that don't interfere with the harness or installation- like shower cap style covers or soft hanging toys.
 

snowbird25ca

Moderator - CPST Instructor
There's a Transport Canada Consumer Information Notice about it. Let me see... here it is: http://www.tc.gc.ca/roadsafety/safedrivers/childsafety/notices/d200401/menu.htm

And worth saying in case anyone misses it or doesn't click the link, that notice was issued after 2 deaths in the period of 2 weeks due to the use of aftermarket products.

Some aftermarket products are definitely worse than others. The bundle me bags all you have to do is compare fit with and fit without to see how horrible it affects the harness. It turns the shoulder straps so they're vertical coming through to the front of the seat instead of horizontal - leading to straps that twist right in the slots (I've seen a twisty SS1 as a result of a bundle me,) and it also pulls the hip straps up towards the top of the shell and then they get pulled back down toward the buckle meaning that there is a lot of fabric bunched in there.. this results in either the harness not being tightened enough, or a screaming uncomfortable baby if a parent tries to tighten it enough - which usually results in the parent loosening the harness. I've pulled as much as 4" slack out of a harness after removing a bundle me when the parent had previously been unable to tighten it further without the child screaming. And the child was content even with that much slack pulled from the harness. (Back adjust seat, so actually pulled that much more on each side.)

I have yet to have a parent want to put a bundle me back in once they see the difference in how the harness fits without it in there. That's how drastic a change it is.

Some of the other ones can cause problems with pushing down on the top of the head which can cause airway problems in a newborn (the jolly jumper half circle ones can be bad for this...) Others prevent the chest clip from being placed high enough. Others add enough thickness to the straps that it interferes with the harness being tightened enough.

So in most cases, it really comes down to how they affect the fit of the harness or installation of the seat...
 

skaterbabs

Well-known member
I present to the parents the following information:

Aftermarket products are somewhat misnamed. They're really UNREGULATED products, and as such they could be fine, or they could be deadly, and we'd never know because there are no rules saying they have to be safe.
 

joolsplus3

Admin - CPS Technician
Yep, anything that comes with the car seat is OK to use as long as you use it per the manual (lots of manuals say remove after X weight or height)

It's also ok to use things that don't interfere with the harness or installation- like shower cap style covers or soft hanging toys.

Chicco expressly forbids any kind of hanging toy...if people MUST buy something, I'll at least show them the soft ones (The hard plastic baby einstein one...um...baby darwin award? no thanks!), but it's still interesting that Chicco is so adamant in their instructions. I don't recall Graco caring much, I think they even sold some of their own crash tested and labeled toys at one time.

Anyway, just had to share...Becky's right, they are definitely called unregulated products now, I forgot that, and I just took the recert class last week :rolleyes:
 

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