Car Seat Safety

Tested for Safety

Did you know that there is no legislation governing car seat accessories? So while car seats are rigorously tested, most car seat accessories aren't.  But we are parents and the safety of children is paramount to us.

The Morrck Baby Hoodie is classified as clothing and as such it is not required to be crash tested. However for our own peace of mind we have tested it using the same test conditions used to evaluate the safety of child car seats in Europe.

The Baby Hoodie has been tested on a range of different types of child car seat using the UN Regulation 44.04 and UN Regulation 129.00 (often referred to as the i-size regulation) test conditions. The requirements of Regulation 44.04 or 129.00 were met in all tests.

  

The testing was completed at TRL in Berkshire, UK.  The Transport Research Laboratory test centre is an internationally recognised centre of excellence providing world-class research, consultancy, testing and certification for all aspects of transport.

Prior to undertaking testing we took extensive advice from the Department for Transport (DFT), the VCA (part of the DFT) and VOSPA.

After much discussion and taking into consideration all of the advice we had been given, it was decided that on the basis that all car seats must comply with the same standards, successful results should show that the standards for harness safety remained within ECE Reg.44.04 and R129 (i-size) specifications as appropriate.

The All Season Baby Hoodie was crash tested under the strict conditions of UN Reg.44.04 and Regulation 129.00 (i-size).  The requirements of Regulation 44.04 or 129.00 were met in all tests.

Car Seat Make and model

Position

Regulation

Britax Safe Fix Plus

Forward Facing

UN regulation 44.04

Maxi Cosi Pebble Plus

Rear Facing

Un Regulation 129.00

Be safe iZi Go

Rear Facing

Un Regulation 129.00

Joie i-Anchor

Rear Facing

Un Regulation 129.00


More about car seat harness safety

According to the UK Department of Transport, 60 to 80% of all car seats are used incorrectly, with harness tension being the most common problem. This is a particular issue in winter as it is hard to tell whether you have a good harness fit if your child is wearing a thick coat or snow suit.

For a car seat harness to work properly, the straps need to be tightly strapped against your child’s chest. When a child wears a snowsuit or thick coat, the straps are usually adjusted to the thickness of the coat, not the chest.  If the car was in an accident, the coat could compress, making the straps too loose and reducing the level of protection for the child.

So how do you know if the harness tension is correct or if a coat is too bulky for in-car use?

Do the Two Finger Test:

  1. Put the coat on your child.
  2. Strap your child into the car seat and tighten to ensure a snug fit.
  3. Remove your child from the car seat – without loosening the straps.
  4. Take the coat off your child.
  5. Strap your child back into the seat – but don’t adjust the straps.
  6. Do the Two finger test. If you can fit more than two fingers underneath the harness at your child’s shoulder bone, the harness tension needs to be tightened or avoid using the coat in the car seat.

Watch this video on how to do the two finger test and see how much slack a thick coat or snow suit can cause in your child’s safety harness. You will be amazed!

You can do this same test, but instead of testing with two fingers you can just pinch the harness and if there is any slack tighten the harness until you can’t pinch anything

Car Seat Safety Video

Other safety issues

If you choose to strap your child into their car seat wearing a coat, you must ensure that the straps are pulled very tight for them to be safe. But this will have an impact on the child’s comfort and freedom of movement (you can be sure that you’ll hear complaints from the back seat!) To prove how much their movement is restricted, try to put your child wearing a coat into their car seat harness, which has been adjusted for fit over indoor clothes. It’s near impossible – your child needs to be a contortionist! This normally results in the parent loosening the straps, which stops the complaints from the child, but means they’re no longer safe. Simple solution. Lose the coat!

Another problem with strapping them in wearing a coat is that your child can quickly become overheated. For babies unable to tell you what’s wrong, this can be dangerous. It is safer to use something that is removable – whether it’s a blanket or coat popped on top of them, or a product like our Hoodie, which can be opened up easily.

Finally, did you know that there is a reason the car seat harness eject button is red? It’s so that it is easily visible so that the child can be removed quickly in an emergency. Whatever product you use to keep your child warm in their car seat, ensure that it provides easy access to the eject button in an emergency. The more zips, clips or Velcro involved, the more difficult it is. It’s for this reason that the Baby Hoodie simply tucks over the baby, with no additional fasteners.

For more information on the correct fitting and use of car seats, go to http://www.childcarseats.org.uk/carseatsvideo/chapter2a.html

Why is this an issue?

You might be wondering why you’ve not heard about this issue before. In the USA and Canada, the issue of harness tension and thick coats is a subject that’s been discussed at length and parents in these countries are strongly advised not to let their children wear thick winter coats in car seats. The awareness of this issue has been led by qualified car seat safety technicians, who are shown pictures and videos during their training, of what can happen during a motor accident.

There are examples given to demonstrate the point, like a picture of an infant seat with a snowsuit under the harness. The seat was pulled out of a car that had just been in a crash. The infant was ejected from the seat and the car and was found some feet away from the car, but the snowsuit was left behind in the seat, highlighting the dangers of harness straps that aren’t tightened correctly.

In the UK, with our milder winters, this has perhaps seemed less of an issue in the past, but as our recent extremely cold and snowy winters have shown, parents do face the same problem of how to keep their children warm and safe in the car. Car safety authorities emphasise that it is harness tension that is the issue, not the thickness of the coat. But if you as a parent can’t be sure that you have a correct fit over a thick coat, why take the risk? Take the coat off and be safe.

Please note: Our products are NOT compatible with the Recaro brand of car seats or the Cosatto Anti Escape system.