I look at Craigslist a couple of times a day just to see what's there. I came across an ad for cart covers and car seat covers. If you know me, you know just how passionate I am about car seat safety and car seat covers (aftermarket) are just not safe. They aren't tested with the seat, they void any warranty, they may compress in a crash and they may hinder the seat from working properly.
So I emailed the mom about them. She was really nice and open to links I may have about the dangers of them. I emailed her some info and this and this are what changed her mind. Aftermarket covers are not fire retardant. I know we all want to keep as many chemicals as we can away from our kids but these could help save your child. A fire retardant seat may give you those extra few seconds to get your child out of the car. Think about what would have happened to those seats with a homemade cover. It would have gone up in flames immediately. Thank God no one was actually in this van when this happened. I always feel a bit weird about emailing a complete stranger but in this case I actually did some good. She is pulling the covers from her website and more importantly her own dd's car seat. I'm happy I was able to help!
ETA: Andrea posted a good question in her comment-
So I'm confused, Karlise...are you saying the replacement covers you buy from Britax are bad or just the generic ones people make??? Technically anything you put on your seat yourself is "after market" - I have had to replace the seat cover on the marathon before (the one we no longer have) but I bought a replacement cover from Britax. What's the 411?
The answer is that any covers you buy from the manufacturer (ie. Britax, Graco, etc) of your particular car seat are SAFE. They are tested with that car seat.
The aftermarket products are anything NOT made by your car seat's mfg. This would include homemade and even some "name brand" items you'll find online, Ebay, and even Babies R Us. There are no laws preventing the use of these unfortunately. Other aftermarket products would include anything that didn't come with your seat and wasn't tested with your seat like the cutesy harness strap covers (and even plain ones) you can pick up at any baby store. Anything that you put on the harness or behind your baby/child that did NOT come with the seat or is not made by the manufacturer of your seat is not safe. Did that answer your question?
3 months ago