You buy a car seat to keep your child as safe as possible in the event of a crash, but could you be exposing your child to possibly dangerous chemicals ever time you strap them in?
A new report from Healthystuff.org, a project of the Michigan-based non-profit Ecology Center, looked at more than 150 car seats to determine the presence of flame-retardant chemicals, including bromine, chlorine, lead and other substances that have been linked to learning disabilities or developmental issues.
The seats that fared worst in the study were the Recaro Pro Booster in Blue Opal, the Britax Marathon 70 in Jet Set, and the Recaro ProSPORT Toddler in Misty.
The best? The Graco Turbo Booster in Anders was the only seat tested that did not contain any chlorine, bromine or any of the nine metals tested. The Graco SnugRide 35 in Laguna Bay, the Chicco Keyfit 30 in Limonata, the Combi Shuttle 33 in Cranberry Noche, and the Graco SnugRide 35in Flint also fared well, testing for fewer chemicals that other seats on the market.
The researchers stress that parents should continue to use their car seat, even if it’s one of the models on the worst list, since the jury’s still out about how much exposure leads to problems, while it's a proven fact that car seats save lives. However, for parents-to-be making their first car seat purchase (or for parents transitioning their child into the next seat), this list may factor into your decision.
As more data pours in, we will continue to monitor the safety of these child protective devices. Chemical-induced injuries and damages are extremely difficult to prove, and anyway, you simply want what is best for your child. If this information helps, then it has served its purpose