Are you getting ready for your new bundle of joy, researching every purchase to make sure you have the safest and most effective products possible? What’s on your list? Crib, diapers, wipes, burp cloths, grooming kit, bathtub, cutest clothes, bottles, swing, bouncer, blankie…hmmmm, what’s missing from our list of must- haves? Ding, Ding, Ding…CAR SEAT!
The search for “THE BEST” car seat is a-go, and HAULT…what do you mean many car seats contain toxic chemicals that could be harmful to my baby?!?!? Being the super parent we all are, you turn into a super car seat geek because, you don’t want your most precious cargo being exposed to toxic chemicals! The studies reveal bromine and PVC are found in most child safety seats, but you may not have a clear understanding of what these substances are.
Bromine, that sounds like a scary word and even more so when the term toxic chemical is used to describe it. Is this “toxin” nearly as scary as the alternative? Let’s take a look-see: car crash, fire as a result of the crash and there’s your baby in their car seat. We don’t know about you, but that scenario qualifies as one of the most terrifying outcomes in the safety books! Bromine is added to car seats to make them less flammable. Research on the harmfulness of bromine in car seats is limited, but what we do know is that bromine is an excellent flame retardant and helps save lives in the case of a car wreck with fire involved.
PVC is an incredibly durable plastic used in water pipes, medical devices, credit cards, roofing supplies, children’s toys and car seats! When considering the durability of PVC it comes to no surprise why we trust it to protect our children in a crash. We do know that PVC is harmful if consumed, so let’s take a stand against eating car seats!
While you may hate to hear this, bromine and PVC are not unique to child safety seats. These chemicals are found in most items in your home, vehicle, daycare, child’s school and the list goes on! Take a deep breath mama and papa bear; let’s not lose our heads over this. The research claiming these chemicals are harmful is limited and in some cases flawed. Additionally, consider how many hours a week your child is actually in his/her car seat. Chances are your child spends more time wearing flame retardant clothing, sleeping on a flame retardant mattress, or playing with toys made out of PVC, than he/she spends in a car seat.
Side note: a few car seat manufactures are looking into phasing out brominated and chlorinated flame-retardants, as non-halogenated fire retardants are available, and many have a better safety profile. If you are interested in reading more about the studies, you can visit http://carseatblog.com/11035/is-your-carseat-toxic-dont-panic/ or http://www.ecocenter.org/press-release/2011/hazardous-flame-retardants-and-chemical-additives-found-60-percent-2011-child-car. Want to know where your seat falls on the list, then hop on over to: http://www.healthystuff.org/departments/childrens-products/product.seatsbestworst.php.
Here at Lexlee’s Kids we are pro everything that is safe and healthy for your baby! We are not discounting the risk of toxic chemicals in children. There are still plenty of what if’s and maybes about this toxic issue, but what we do know is motor vehicle crashes remain a top killer of children 1-14 years old. You need a car seat and should use it correctly every trip, every time!
For more about car seat safety, check out a few of our past articles:
If you have questions or comments about car seat safety, post here or contact Lexlee’s Kids at 225.372.3991.
Co-Written by: Erica Casanova, 2013 Fall SLU Intern