Cute, Cuddly, Comfy, Coats & Car Seats…Dangerous Combination!


1386348636.jpg.CROP.promovar-mediumlargeWith this Louisiana on again and off again cold weather, we never know what to expect! One day we are in coats, scarves, hats and gloves shivering to the bone and the next: shorts, tanks and flip flops. Meanwhile, up north Louisiana is the punch line for unbearable 30 degree temps and they are experiencing something degrees below something. We would end, with winter storm Jonas or any other name you’d give it…LOL!

None the less, when “Our” winter weather blows through we want to bundle our kids up to keep them warm! Those winter coats keep them warm and are so cute and fluffy, but prevent the car seat harness from securing your child properly and keeping them safe. The average puffy winter coat adds an additional 4 inches of slack to the harness. This allows the child to move 4 more inches than they normally would without that puffy coat in a hard break or wreck. These extra 4 inches could potentially be deadly in crash.

carseat_30963Please remember plush winter coats and car seats do not mix. The coat will compress in a crash and the straps will not be tight enough. What a pain to put the coat on, take the coat off (repeat and multiply if you have more than one child), but the pain of an injured child(s) is a lot worse!

Here are some tips for keeping your kids safe and warm in whatever your winter temps may be:

• Dress them in thin, tight fitting layers! Thin fleece jackets are great!
• Buckle them without a puffy jacket and make sure the harness is correct, snug and passes the pinch test.
• Cover the child with a blanket/coat after the child has been properly buckled to keep them warm.
• Never swaddle before putting your baby in their car seat. Cover the baby with a blanket after being properly buckled to keep them warm. Make sure to tuck the sides, so the blanket does not cover the baby’s face.
• Car seat companies do not recommend using aftermarket products and they can void the warranty. Be cautious in your selections and methods and make sure you are not going against manufactures instructions.

Additional tips and images for keeping your kiddos safe and warm during the winter months:

Join hands with Lexlee’s Kids in caring for your kids’ safety. If you have any questions about car seat safety, feel free to post here or contact Lexlee’s Kids at 225.372.3991.

Co-written by: Haley Taylor, 2016 Spring SLU Intern

Eeny Meeny Miny Moe…Where should all the Car Seats Go?


2012-honda-crv-price-release-date-rav4-third-row-300x172You thought picking the car seat was the tough part? Now you have to decide where and how you are going to install the car seat in the vehicle. How many kids do you have? Does your vehicle allow you to install the car seat there? How does that spot effect other passengers? Can you get a good install there? Do you want to use LATCH or seat belt? Does the spot you pick allow you to install the car seat with LATCH? Is there a tether anchor in that spot? The list goes on and on…and all questions are relevant!

Let’s start simple (as simple as possible): Which Position is the Safest?

This varies with child’s age/weight/height, type of seat, direction, type of vehicle, family situation, etc.

1. Back Seat Middle – Furthest from impact in any direction and away from airbags.

2. Back Seat Passenger Side – Opposite side of opposing traffic, not typically on traffic side for street parking, easier to glance at child (we would rather you keep your eyes on the road), near side air bags (typically not an issue), possible side impact crash.

3. Back Seat Driver Side – Closest side to on-coming traffic, typically on traffic side for street parking, not easy to glance at child (we would rather you keep your eyes on the road anyway), near side air bags (typically not an issue), possible side impact crash.

4. Front Seat – Near windshield, near front airbag. You want to avoid children in the front seat, but we have had plenty of families come through our office where the front seat HAD to be used due to various situations. Rear facing car seats should never be placed in front of an active airbag. *We strongly advise speaking to a certified car seat professional before selecting this option.

1-series-back-seat-300x225Try not to be too hard on yourself if you can’t install your child’s car seat in the center! Although we would like all seats in that position…it’s not possible. If your child is sitting in an outboard position, have faith in the side impact protection that is included in the design of most car seats on the market today. Also have faith in the safety features that have been designed and included in your vehicle.

Reasons for not using the center that we have encountered:

1. You don’t have a center seat (captain’s chairs, bucket seats)

2. Your vehicle does not allow car seats to be installed in the center

3. You have more than one child and they can’t all go in the center

4. Two children and the car seats do not fit side-by-side

5. Needing to separate children for various reasons

6. Physical limitations with reaching the center

7. Can’t get a tight install in the center (no more than 1″ of movement when checked at the belt-path)

8. Broken center seat belt

9. Parent wanting to use LATCH, but LATCH is not allowed in the center

There are certainly more, we could go on for days! Just to touch on a couple of things:

  • Just because you cannot use LATCH in the center (which is common) doesn’t mean you can’t install the car seat there. You do have the option of using the seat belt. LATCH is not necessarily worth giving up the added protection of the center seat. LATCH is not safer than the seat belt and vice-versa. They are both designed to do the same thing. One does become safer than the other if you cannot install the seat correctly using one or the other.
  • Three row vehicles: 2nd or 3rd row? Remember the 3rd row is often times near or in the rear crumple zone. This is the area that crushes if you are rear-ended. If you can put your kids in the 2nd row, that may be a safer choice than the 3rd. Again, don’t be too hard on yourself if all rows need to be used…everyone needs a seat :) Also, 3rd rows typically have limited top tether anchor options, if the option exists at all. And, talk about compact! 3rd rows lack leg room; thank goodness children are typically flexible and like to cross their legs!


Crumple zones are placed at both the front and rear of the vehicle, are designed to absorb the energy of a crash, better protecting the occupants inside the passenger compartment. Some 3 row vehicles have very small cargo areas, as the 3rd row would be the cargo area if there were only 2 rows. For example: 2008 Tahoe with 3 rows has an estimated 27-30 inch deep cargo area. It is a VERY small zone, especially for crashes with higher speeds and greater force. A Suburban is going to have a larger cargo area, even with 3 rows. Passengers can safely ride in the 3rd row, but having passengers closer to the center of the vehicle is optimal (not mandatory), just as it is optimal to place your child’s car seat in a rear center seat.

  • When you have multiple children, typically putting the child with the least protection in the center is favored. Example: you have a new born infant, rear facing and you have a 3 year old, forward facing. Placing the 3 year old in the center may be the better choice because the infant is already safer because they are rear facing. Additional reasoning: keeping that curious 3 year old away from the doors/windows, and the 3 year old can get out of the seat on their own after you unbuckle them, maybe relieving pressure on your back. Now, the rear facing child may go better in the center if the recline of the car seat pushes the front seats too far forward! There are TONS of things to consider, which is why visiting a child passenger safety tech is so great! It’s FREE & we can help you sort through all the options and decisions that need to be made.
  • Two-seater vehicles: Just give us a call…lol

7-Passenger-Vehicles-with-Captain-Chairs-300x200We could go on FOREVER! Just remember, correct use of any restraint is just as important as having one! Schedule an appointment with a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician TODAY! EVERYONE should buckle up EVERY trip, EVERY time! Join hands with Lexlee’s Kids in caring for your kid’s safety. If you have questions or comments about car seats or child safety, post here or contact Lexlee’s Kids at 225.372.3991.

Get a Grip: Using Gripper when Installing a Car Seat!


I’ve been branded!

Something that seems so small to the normal, well I may have left the normal realm a long time ago…nooooo one really knows :) Last week someone greeted me by saying, “bring on the safety patrol!” And my response, “halt…put your car seats in the air where I can see them!” (which just may be on my next t-shirt design). #CarSeatPolice! I can clearly make a joke about being CAR SEAT CRAZY, hey…I am who I am! -Crystal

Now, on to the business! Have you ever used gripper/cabinet liner/slip guard on your vehicle seat when installing your car seat? Many people assume that using gripper will assist in obtaining a tight install. This couldn’t be further from the truth! No matter what you’ve heard in the past, gripper should have never been used for assistance in providing a tight car seat installation. Gripper was typically used to help with protecting leather vehicle seats. If you feel like you need an additional product to assist in providing a secure car seat install, there is likely a problem with your install.

Proper body mechanics/technique, using your weight as leverage, reading instruction manuals for your vehicle and the car seat and meeting with a certified child passenger safety technician will help you get the tight installation necessary for your car seat. Simply selecting a different seating position in the back of your vehicle may also be an option, as some car seats install better in certain seating positions.

Vehicle Seat Protector

Vehicle Seat Protector

The same can be said for using vehicle seat protectors and a thin towel!  The most the three will do is assist in protecting vehicle seats from crumbs and drips.  Dumping a barrier is obviously more convenient than sweeping, vacuuming and wiping the crumbs and Juicy Juice from your vehicle seat. The barrier won’t eliminate dents, but MAY REDUCE wear and tear to your vehicle seats.  It basically sounds like our days of clean, like new, fresh smelling vehicles come to a screeching halt after the kids come. Well when they say it’s not about you anymore, I guess they really mean it…vehicles included!  Be sure to read your car seat manual to see if using some kind of slip guard, mat or towel under your car seat is allowed. Ultimately, parents/caregivers need to make sure the car seat is properly installed with no more than 1″ of movement at the belt path in any direction, and be comfortable knowing that adding that “protection” could actually affect the safety of the car seat for their child if involved in a crash.

Gripper/Shelf Liner/Slip Guard

Gripper/Shelf Liner/Slip Guard

Just a little side note: According to Duck Brand, easy liner is made of vinyl and can melt. It should not be exposed to open flame or temperatures exceeding 170 degrees Fahrenheit. I don’t know about your state, but Louisiana is pretty smoldering during the summer months! This means, in trying to protect your seats, you could potentially do more damage if the gripper melts and you end up having to peal it away from your seats!

So in conclusion…none of the items listed above are needed and you can safely install your car seats with out them! The use of the items are not illegal, but are typically not recommended for safety reasons.  We would rather make our professional recommendations and allow the caregiver the freedom to make the final decision for their child…without breaking any laws of course! Focusing on correct harnessing, install and best practice recommendations is where we would like to focus most of our energy!

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, concerns or comments about car seat safety, post here or contact Lexlee’s Kids at 225-372-3991! Please visit if you would like to schedule a car seat appointment with one of our certified child passenger safety professionals!

Pool Noodles, Rolled Receiving Blankets & Car Seats

photo 4

I thought we couldn’t add non-regulated/non-crash-tested products to car seats? Was the car seat tested with these items? Is it safe or not? Well, I for one feel like I am sometimes losing my NOODLE with all the ins, outs, dos, don’ts and maybes of the crazy car seat safety saga!

-Crystal, CPS Technician/Instructor

Pool Noodle, you say?

Using pool noodle(s) may help in adjusting the recline of your rear facing car seat (yes, the noodle you float on in water). Some seats allow the use of a pool noodle or tightly rolled bath towel at the seat bight (crack of vehicle seat) to achieve proper recline of your car seat. We suggest cutting the noodle into 11″ long pieces. You may need half moon, you may need one, you may need two or you may need 3. You may be using a small noodle, you may be using a large noodle.

Remember to always read your instruction manual to be sure your car seat allows for the use of noodle(s) or rolled towel and to determine the acceptable recline angle range for your seat.

1/2 moon & 1 large noodle

1/2 moon & 1 large noodle


Small Pool Noodle

1 small noodle at the seat bite

2 small noodles at the seat bite

2 small noodles at the seat bite

3 small noodles at the seat bite

3 small noodles at the seat bite

rolled towel

1 rolled bath towel at the seat bite


Really, Rolled Receiving Blankets? 

Did your car seat come with head and body support inserts? Don’t go out a buy all that fluff-fluff! Try using tightly rolled receiving blankets for head and body support. Do not place the blankets under the child or between the child and the harness straps. Need a little extra filling at the head, try what we like to call the candy cane method. Place receiving blankets in the car seat after the child is properly buckled and their harness passes the pinch test. Additional tid-bit…place blankets flap down, to help prevent unrolling and possibly covering the child’s face.

Crotch roll: sometimes there’s a little extra space between the child’s crotch and the buckle even after meeting height and weight requirements of the car seat. If needed, you can roll a washcloth and place between the child’s crotch and crotch buckle.

Crash tested head support

Crash tested head support

Crash tested head support with receiving blankets

Crash tested head support with receiving blankets

photo 4

Tightly rolled receiving blankets

photo 22

Tightly rolled receiving blankets, candy cane style

Flap up vs. flap down

Flap up vs. flap down

Crotch roll

Crotch roll

Thanks for coming along for the ride! For more posts related to car seat safety, visit If you have questions or concerns about car seat safety, please post here or contact Lexlee’s Kids at 225-372-3991! We recommend all parents and caregivers meet with a certified child passenger safety technician to make sure your children are traveling safely. Safe travels to you and yours!

Please visit to schedule a car seat appointment with Lexlee’s Kids!







Car Seats + Harmful Toxins = Safety Scare!


toxins1Car Seats + Harmful Toxins = Safety Scare!

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 or Want to know where your seat falls on the list, then hop on over to:

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


Hitting the Sky for the Holidays? Don’t forget to Restrain on the Plane!


airplane1It’s holiday time and that means it’s time to hit the road and sky! You’ve checked your list and checked it twice: stroller, toys, diaper bag, snacks, paci, blanket, pillow…what else could be missing from the list? You guessed it…the CAR SEAT!  We all know kids need car seats in vehicles. As silly as it may sound…YES, you should restrain on the plane! YES, toting a child; car seat and luggage through an airport is a hassle, but your child is worth it!



Why does my child need a CAR seat on a PLANE?

Think about it, before take off the flight attendants tell you to store all loose objects. Your child is

Diono Radian. Would this make your travels easier?

Diono Radian. Would this make your travels easier?

considered to be one of those objects in this situation. Just like in a vehicle crash or hard break, you will most likely NOT be able to hold on to your child should there be a sudden drop or turbulence. Visual: if your child is not restrained and the plane hits an air pocket and/or drops a distance, your child will end up in the ceiling of the plane. If your child is not restrained and the plane experiences turbulence, your child could shift and be thrown just like the luggage stored in the over-head compartment. Consequences: All could possibly result in serious injury or death to your child.

*** Little extra tid-bit: your child will likely be more comfortable in a car seat while flying. They can sleep comfortably and so can you!


  • Booster seats should not be used on aircrafts! You need a lap and should belt for booster seats, planes are only equipped with lap belts.
  • You should not check your child’s car seat. 1: you need it on the plane, 2: you run the risk of your child’s seat getting damaged during load, travel and unload and 3. should your luggage become “misplaced”, what will you use to get your child from the airport to your destination?
  • They don’t typically sell car seats at airports and car seat rental is not recommended.

VIDEO:  Explains why you should restrain a child on a plane:

VIDEO: Um…NO! You don’t know when you will experience turbulence, until your baby is shaken from your arms! There is no SAFE way to fly with your baby on your lap! We vote for prevention! Side Note: The video is by the clueless chick and do you really want your baby to “FLY FREE” on a plane (fly free, like go flying!)…think about it.

Helpful Resources:

What are your thoughts about using car seats on planes? Are you willing to take the chance for a free flight for baby? For more information about traveling your child safely post her or contact Lexlee’s Kids at 225-372-3991.

Co-written by: Tori Wilson, 2013 Fall SLU Intern

20 Baton Rouge Children Leave Spook-a-Rama Safer than When They Arrived

Lexlee with a mom-to-be at the car seat check
Lexlee with a mom-to-be at the car seat check

Lexlee with a mom-to-be at the car seat check

At this weekend’s safety event at Gerry Lane, we were able to help 20 children leave safer than when they arrived! We were also able to educate teens about the importance of safe driving…all while having a spook-tacular time!

“Events such as the Safety Spook-a-Rama held at Gerry Lane are so important because, motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of permanent injury and fatalities in teens,” explained Crystal Pichon, Executive Director of Lexlee’s Kids.

Also displayed at the event: The Lexlee’s Kids Ready, Set, DRIVE! program – designed for teen drivers to learn the negative effects of distracted driving and underage drinking.

A young driver is experiencing driving while using impaired "intoxication" goggles to learn dangers of driving under influence.

This teen is experiencing driving while using impaired “intoxication” goggles to learn dangers of driving under the influence.

“Coupling our young driver safety program with State Farm’s Celebrate My Drive campaign is an excellent way to encourage teens to make safe choices when they are behind the wheel,” added Pichon.

So why does Lexlee’s Kids put such a big focus on these car seat check events?

Because statistics show that 9 out 10 car seats are installed incorrectly in Louisiana – and we want to reduce that number.

“Every car seat we checked on Saturday needed corrections or to be completely replaced because of expiration, recalls, or incorrect fit,” explained Lexlee Overton, Injury Attorney and Founder of Lexlee’s Kids.

A child safety seat set up in a 2014 Chevy Impala to show proper seat installation. Remember, parents, infants must be rear-facing!

A child safety seat set up in a 2014 Chevy Impala to show proper seat installation. Remember, parents, infants must be rear-facing!

“We know it’s a scary statistic, but one definitely worth repeating: automobile collisions remain the leading cause of unintentional death for children,” Overton reminded.

It’s all about saving lives, and thanks to our sponsors Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, Gerry Lane  and State Farm Insurance, our program is able to make a difference in the community!

Sign up here for alerts on future events and other safety alerts:

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Child Passenger Safety Week & Car Seat Recalls!



Well, timing is everything. Child Passenger Safety Week and car seat recalls. In Louisiana we will be having events all over the state to celebrate National Seat Check Saturday on September 21, 2013! Our car seat check event will be from 10 AM – 2 PM at Capitol City Family Health Center (3140 Florida Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70806).

Different events around the state are as follows:

  • Interim LSU Hospital & LSP Troop B @ L.B. Landry-O. Perry Walker H.S. (9A-12N By appointment only) 1200 L.B. Landry Ave. 70114 504-903-4296
  • Houma P.D. & ADAC @ Winn Dixie Supermarket (10A-3P No appointment needed) 1803 Louisiana 3125 70052 985-855-6347
  • LSP Troop D @ Billy Navarre Honda (10A-2P No appointment needed) 1310 East College Street 70607 337-491-2932
  • Hispanic Committee of the South @ Walker Automotive (9A-12N No appointment needed) 1616 MacArthur Drive 71301 318-640-2282
  • Monroe P.D. & LSP Troop F @ Travelers Rest Shopping Center (10A-3P No appointment needed) 2200 Hwy 80 71292 318-557-5174
  • Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office @ Caddo Sheriff’s Safety Town (9A-12N No appointment needed) 8910 Jewella Ave. 71118 318-698-7272
  • Tracy LeMaire & Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office @ Dauterive Hospital (10A-2P No appointment needed) 600 North Lewis Street 70563 337-288-9937
  • LSP Troop L @ St. Helena Head Start (10A-3P No appointment needed) 77 Greensburg Street 70441 985-893-6250

Dorel Juvenile Announces a Safety Recall of Certain Safety 1st and Eddie Bauer Child Restraint Systems

Dorel Juvenile has determined that certain child restraint systems manufactured from July 20, 2010 through May 18, 2011 do not fully comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard. A color coordinated ease of use label depicting the rear-facing mode instruction was positioned on the incorrect side of the base. The arrows on this label point towards the forward-facing belt path instead of the rear-facing belt path which could potentially cause confusion to the consumer.

Dorel Juvenile is issuing a safety recall for certain Safety 1st and Eddie Bauer brand child restraints manufactured from July 20, 2010 through May 18, 2011. There is a potential for the consumer to be misled or confused when installing the child restraint in the rear-facing mode.

If you own one of the seats listed below, please call our Recall Hotline at 1-877-675-2355, Monday through Friday, 8AM to 5:00PM EST or email The affected seats should not be returned to the retailer.

The models affected are manufactured from July 10, 2010 through May 18, 2011 and include Convertible child restraints Alpha Omega Elite, Deluxe 3 in 1, Complete Air LX and Complete Air SE.

Model No, CRS Description:

22187ANL, Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite
22187REM, Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite
22187REMA, Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite
22187SAR, Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite
22187SARA, Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite
22465FSM, Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite
22790CGT, Eddie Bauer Deluxe 3 in 1
CC033BMT, Safety 1st Alpha Omega… Elite
CC043ANK, Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite
CC043ANL, Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite
CC043AQS, Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite
CC046AAI, Eddie Bauer Deluxe 3 in 1
CC046AAU, Eddie Bauer Deluxe 3 in 1
CC046CTA, Eddie Bauer Deluxe 3 in 1
CC046SNW, Eddie Bauer Deluxe 3 in 1
CC046WPR, Eddie Bauer Deluxe 3 in 1
CC050AJH, Safety 1st Complete Air LX
CC050ANY, Safety 1st Complete Air LX
CC050ANZ, Safety 1st Complete Air LX
CC050AOQ, Safety 1st Complete Air LX
CC051AIR, Safety 1st Complete Air SE

Get your repair kit as soon as possible. Parents may continue to use the child restraint system as directed in their instruction manual. So you do not have to replace you seat, you just have to get a fix kit! PLEASE CONTINUE TO USE YOUR CAR SEAT!

If you have questions about car seat safety, post here or call Lexlee’s Kids at 225-372-3991. Thank you for following and Happy Child Passenger Safety Week!


Is After Market, an After Thought???

Ask yourself…what is my 1st thought when I decide my child NEEDS a little something extra when they are in their car seat?
Is it…
Are they comfortable?
Is this cute?
Will this stimulate my child’s brain?
Will this allow me to see & flirt with my baby while I drive?
Will this help keep my vehicle seats safe?
What about…
How will this effect the integrity or safety of the car seat? Was it crash tested?
Could the product become projectile and injure my child?
Could it be a choking or suffocation hazard? Are there small pieces that could come off? Is this pillow too fluffy?
Does it effect the my child’s breathing? Does that fluffy pillow push my child’s chin to his or her chest?
Will this help keep my child SAFE?
What in the world are we talking about?
Aftermarket or non regulated products are accessories designed and said to improve comfort, fit or installation of your child’s car seat. Sometimes convenience and vehicle protection even come up. Oh, and what about meets and exceeds safety standards…ask them, what safety standards?
As parents you are not buying and adding these items with a thought that the product could harm your child, it’s usually because you think it will help your child in some way. We get it! We can play both sides, but in the end…SAFETY WINS! We are only asking that you ask yourself a different set of questions before purchasing those cute, comfortable and stimulating baby products for the car ride. Most car seat manufacturers warn consumers against using accessories that did not come with the car seat because they were not crash-tested with their seats.
Examples of aftermarket/non-regulated products:
Head positioning pads (Suggestion: select a seat that comes with one or use rolled receiving blankets) There are plenty of seats that come with infant insert padding & have been crash tested with the seat.
Infant inserts/body pillows (Suggestion: same as above) These sometimes push the head too far forward, interfere with the harness straps & how snug they need to be and hide problems that may have been seen with out the extra padding.
Custom car seat covers Using a cover designed for your car seat, designed by your car seat manufacture is different than purchasing a custom cover from a boutique or other company.
Toys (Suggestion: they are fine outside of the vehicle. Avoid them during travel, but if you must have one ask yourself…is this something I would throw at my child’s face? Is it too hard? Will it fly & hurt someone in a crash? Is it something they could choke on? Is it something that could cause suffocation?) Most infant carrier manuals warn parents not to hang toys from the handle.
Mirrors (Suggestion: keep your eyes on the road and off that beautiful baby! Afraid they will choke…make sure your car seat is at the correct angle & make sure you don’t give them anything to choke on. If you must have a mirror…know the risks (projectile, possible sharp object if shattered, distraction). If you choose to use one, make sure you attach correctly according to its instructions, it doesn’t create a blind spot & NO FLIRTING!
Vehicle seat protectors We would rather you not use them (unless crash tested with your car seat and approved by manufacture). But, if you need something, some car seat manufactures allow the use of a thin towel under your car seat (check your manual). This can be used as a thin barrier that helps protect vehicle seats, and does not interfere with hardware needed to install the car seat correctly. Often times the vehicle seat covers are too thick, create more slippage and/or interfere with buckles and anchors.
Harness pads/covers (Suggestion: select a seat that comes with them or pull your child’s shirt up at the collar to create a barrier between your child’s neck and the straps. The harness covers are used to create a barrier & prevent brushing on your child’s neck. They should not be considered as a fluffy pillow to sleep in the car seat.) In a crash the padding will compress creating slack in the harness, meaning…the harness is not as snug on your child as you thought! Some of those things are so darn fluffy that you should be concerned if your child’s head slumps to the side a little, the fluffy covers could make breathing a little more difficult.
Those are the most common, but there are plenty more! If you are unsure…look in your manual, call your car seat manufacture or you can even give us a shout! Schedule a car seat appointment ASAP & ask us any questions you can think of! We promise not to snatch your non regulated/aftermarket products and run…we will only give you very friendly information & let you make the final decision. Ask around…we are very nice & silly, but we are very serious about your child’s safety!
Join hands with Lexlee’s Kids in caring for your kid’s safety. If you have questions or comments about car seats or child safety, post here or contact Lexlee’s Kids at 225.372.3991.
***NOTE: Photos included in this post are not best practice, but are used to show you the NO-NO’s of child passenger safety! The photo demonstrating rolled receiving blankets is an approved method for aligning an infant’s head/neck in a child restraint.

Car Seat Confusion…Second-Hand Car Seats!

žLet us start by saying, a car seat is better than no car seat at all. Before obtaining a used car seat, be sure to check with local agencies who may be able to provide car seats to families in need. Used car seats are not recommended, but if this is your only choice, use the list below for guidance:
  • Typically must not be older than 6 years, unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer
  • Can not have been in a crash
  • Not be on a recall list
  • Have all of its parts
  • Not be damaged
  • Have the owner’s manual
  • Stored well by previous owner
  • Know the complete history of the seat

So basically, if you don’t know the person…REALLY know them and trust them…with the life of your child, then using the used seat is not a good idea. Someone you say hi to every now and then, someone you work with or met online, doesn’t mean you know them.

Should I use a used car seat from:

  • Garage sales: NO
  • Consignment shops: NO (Some shops sell brand-new, in that case…go for it!)
  • Friend of a friend: NO (Best friend: It may be ok if you know them well & trust them. Did they take good care of the seat? Does it meet the requirements above?)
  • Craig’s List/Facebook: NO
  • Family member: MAYBE (It may be ok if you know them well & trust them (sister, brother…). If they took good care of the seat and it meets the requirements above.
  • A previous child: MAYBE (if you took good care of the seat and it meets the requirements above)

*Problem is, friends and family may not know that they are missing something, remember that it’s been in a wreck, think about it being stored in 100 degree heat. A lot of times, damage/stress to a car seat cannot be seen by the human eye!

Take the guess work out of the equation and go with a new seat. If you need help affording a car seat, ask us how we can help. Join hands with Lexlee’s Kids in caring for your kid’s safety. If you have questions or comments about car seats or child safety, post here or contact Lexlee’s Kids at 225.372.3991. Schedule your appointment TODAY!