Techs and instructors promoting the use of Shelf Liner?

CourtneyL

New member
I am taking my CPST certification course next month and I was invited to attend a seat check event last week to get an idea of what the techs do. There were multiple techs and instructors and they were using shelf liner to help install on leather seats.
I thought that shelf liner was no longer recommended since it could make it seem like you had a tight install when you really don't. I was honestly really surprised and a little confused...

Is shelf liner ok or no?
 
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Patriot201

Car-Seat.org Ambassador
Re: Shelf Liner?

You are correct that shelf liner is no longer recommended (because of it possibly giving a false sense of secure installation and because it was melting into seats!).

Those techs must be using techniques from several years ago. I wouldn't suggest "correcting" them, but perhaps you could bring it up as a topic of discussion?
 

CourtneyL

New member
Thanks for confirming what I thought.

I feel like I'm in a really awkward position though. I guess I'll have to think about how to tactfully question things in the class. :(
 

Patriot201

Car-Seat.org Ambassador
Thanks for confirming what I thought.

I feel like I'm in a really awkward position though. I guess I'll have to think about how to tactfully question things in the class. :(

I don't envy you! It is SO hard to be tactful in such a situation. :( Will those same techs be instructors in your course?
 

bbartlettnfld

New member
I'm constantly trying to get the other Techs in my group away from Shelf liner, I find it totally unnecessary even on leather seats. Drives me crazy, every time I get into a car another tech will ask "do want some shelf liner" Like some sort of drug pusher!

I'm always saying "NO"! And try to educate both parents and other techs on how it often masks a poor install, like seat protectors.
 

MotoMommaNH

New member
OP, the instructors in my course had shelf liner in their "seat check kit". Said it helps to get better installs. We didn't use it for the check and I don't endorse it, but I completely understand your situation! I didn't bring it up to them that it's a bad idea...:eek:
 

thepote

New member
Does Safekids send out some sort of bulletin with updates like that? Seems like it shouldn't be that hard to keep everyone on the same page :(
 

MotoMommaNH

New member
We get the CPS Express once a month, it's basically an e-newsletter for techs put out by SafeKids. I've only had a few issues received since I've just been a tech since May but it could very easily be included in something like that.

this is at the bottom:

Ideas and Article Submissions

Advocates and manufacturers are welcome to submit articles, or suggestions for articles, to the CPS Express!

Send your ideas and submissions to kchausmer@safekids.org


shall I submit an idea?? ;) "Why are we still using shelf liner???"
 

YinzerMama

New member
What is it exactly?

I am trying the google but not getting a pic. Is it a brand or a generic term?

Here is something that drives me crazy. There are all these things that we are not supposed to use in car seats because they might not be safe and/or have not been crash tested. I get that. I really do.

I feel like these seat protectors have been no-nos for ages, since my oldest was a baby even, and as you all know a lot of water has moved under the bridge in 10 years.

But now Britax offers one. And it is supposed to be safe. MAYBE just with Britax seats? But still. How does it differ from this "shelf liner?"

http://www.britaxusa.com/accessories/vehicle-seat-protector

This drives me cookoo because I know that after market snuzzle me devices are also frowned upon - but Britax has one of those now - http://www.britaxusa.com/accessories/head-body-support-pillow and somewhere in my basement I have a JJ Cole body support and I would swear they are indentical. (I only ever used mine in a stroller btw)

Is Britax pulling a fast one by simply rebranding things? Or is it possible these items are, in fact, safe?

Please tell me someone else has wondered this. :eek:
 

CourtneyL

New member
This is the shelf liner: [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Duck-1100731-Non-Adhesive-12-Inch-20-Feet/dp/B002AS9NAI/ref=pd_sim_hg_3"]http://www.amazon.com/Duck-1100731-Non-Adhesive-12-Inch-20-Feet/dp/B002AS9NAI/ref=pd_sim_hg_3[/ame] its sorta sticky/squishy material.

I feel like its a double standard sometimes. If someone were to take shelf liner and market it as a "car seat gripper mat" I'm sure everyone would shout "Aftermarket Product!! You can't use that!!!". But then it's acceptable for a tech to use shelf liner? It doesn't make any sense lol
 

YinzerMama

New member
Oh. It is actually SHELF LINER. I thought it was just a cutesy brand name.

We cut pieces of that to stick under our couch so my daughter would stop sliding it across the floor when she jumps onto the back. :D
 

Rebekah

New member
What is it exactly?

I am trying the google but not getting a pic. Is it a brand or a generic term?

Here is something that drives me crazy. There are all these things that we are not supposed to use in car seats because they might not be safe and/or have not been crash tested. I get that. I really do.

I feel like these seat protectors have been no-nos for ages, since my oldest was a baby even, and as you all know a lot of water has moved under the bridge in 10 years.

But now Britax offers one. And it is supposed to be safe. MAYBE just with Britax seats? But still. How does it differ from this "shelf liner?"

http://www.britaxusa.com/accessories/vehicle-seat-protector

This drives me cookoo because I know that after market snuzzle me devices are also frowned upon - but Britax has one of those now - http://www.britaxusa.com/accessories/head-body-support-pillow and somewhere in my basement I have a JJ Cole body support and I would swear they are indentical. (I only ever used mine in a stroller btw)

Is Britax pulling a fast one by simply rebranding things? Or is it possible these items are, in fact, safe?

Please tell me someone else has wondered this. :eek:

The link for the body pillow says that it is crash tested and safe for Britax infant seats and convertibles. The biggest reason we have to say that these extras are not recommended is that we don't know that they are safe. They might do just fine in a crash, or they might not. we don't know. Britax sure as heck isn't gonna crash test their accessories with other brand seats because that would take away the "packaged deal" mentality and brand loyalty that they count on in customers. Other companies aren't going to recommend an accessory made by Britax because that would possibly lead the customer to just buy a Britax seat instead. Even if the JJ Cole pillow is identical, Britax (and SafeKids best practice) says not to use it. As for the seat protector, the blog had a comparison list of those things, and the Britax one was the winner amongst losers, since none should be used in the first place. ;) I agree that it is hypocritical for seat companies to sell items that are deemed unsafe by those most educated in actually using their seats. Why should we trust a company that sells unsafe items just for the sake of another dollar? The fact that Diono still makes and advertises the Mighty Tite is almost enough to make me question the validity of the whole company.
 

joolsplus3

Admin - CPS Technician
I just find shelf liner to be a waste of money. It's like a badge, though, of techs who don't keep up with proper info (my friend went to a check, had a tiny square of liner under her infant base on cloth seats, but her seatbelt wasn't locked. holy wth, batman).
Insider info from Britax assures me that unregulated products are a liability issue. Britax doesn't want to get sued if you misuse your Brica/Diono/JJCole/Dorel product and the child gets injured. Graco doesn't care as much, they *recommend* you use a carseat mat in their manuals. Unregulated products aren't inherently unsafe (ask Diono how many "Mighty Tite saved my kids life!" emails they get every year), it's just that the general public is misusing seats 90%+ of the time and adding a plethora of products confuses the issue of who should get sued.

Anyway, just my two cents, I've been doing this a looooong time, and have the awkward position of working at BRU and trying to get people not to buy tons of crap to stick in their seats. But it comes down to attaching the child to the car so the car can absorb the energy. A tight install and a tight harness are ultimately what matters most when the car crashes, so that's what I focus on. (Projectiles, too, when I get the opportunity, everything else needs to be attached to the car, too...)
 

Kecia

Admin - CPST Instructor
I became a tech over 10 years ago, during the shelf-liner-craze years and even though I don't use it anymore I used to go through rolls of the stuff just like every other "good tech" in America at that time. Bottom line IMHO, it's not necessarily bad to use it (in most cases) but it just isn't necessary.

And in some rare cases it could potentially give the parent a false reading (meaning the CR appears tight but really isn't). I don't personally believe that's a major concern. In all my years of using gripper material I don't think it ever tricked me into thinking a bad install was actually a good install (but parents - who knows?)

Really, the reason we used so much shelf liner back then was because we always wanted to get the CR installed rock-solid. Often with leather seats - the CR would be as tight as possible but it would still slide a little bit on the leather and using the grippy material underneath would eliminate that last little bit of "play" and then we were all happy. :rolleyes:

In this case, I'd say pick your battles. If this is your only complaint with how things are handled at the event, then I'd probably just leave it alone. But you might want to mention something in class about it not being necessary and possibly melting into people's leather seats (which, according to those in very hot weather states, has been known to happen).

If you get a chance in class, look through a few manuals to see what the manufacturers say about it. Ultimately, they are the final authority on these things. I know Evenflo suggests a towel to protect vehicle upholstery, Graco allows for mats, Britax sells their own mat as does Diono.

And if you can figure out why they're using shelf liner so frequently then you can try to address those issues specifically.
 

heather13619

New member
Shelf liner was brought up at the very end of the CPST course I took last month. Basically, the lead instructor said to keep it on hand, that WE shouldn't ever need to use it to achieve a good install but if the parent needed it to achieve a good install, they should use it because THEY need to be able to get a good install without you there. Which I agree with...but, they should be able to get that good install without something that may mask a bad install and go against their car seat manual, yes? I don't know. I didn't argue it. With the out of date curriculum (which we were told IS being updated) we were taught by, there were plenty of other, bigger things to disagree with. ;)
 

nannykates

New member
The only time I've used it was putting a jabby rf sureride in a parents rental vehicle. We put small pieces over the ends (it was that or turn their 11.5 mo).
 

eduller

New member
I was in the same situation in my tech class. The instructors said it could be used to "protect the vehicle seat" and that we should have some on hand in our tech kit. They also specifically said to never use something "slippery" like a towel.

I innocently asked if maybe the shelf liner could make the car seat feel more solid than it is, and they said no way. So I left it at that. I'm just not going to use it, but I obviously wasn't going to argue in the middle of class.

I just know from my personal experience that the one car seat I do have that has a kind of a "tacky" rubber bottom on it, it can feel really solid just sitting on the seat without even being buckled in. A good tug obviously tips it, but a casual pull from the belt path makes it seem like it's installed. I have to attribute that to the rubber bottom on the leather vehicle seat, and I'd think the shelf liner would do exactly the same thing.
 

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