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CPST put a pool noodle under the base of my car seat????

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

This is half rant, half question.

 

We went to a local polica station today to do a safety check on DD's new seat. First the tech kept insisting that I turn 21 lb., 14 month old DD ff. I patiently explained to her, several times, that the even the AAP had recently changed their stance, and that we would be keeping her rf until 40 lbs, the seat's weight limit.

 

Also, she insisted that the tether was only for use during ff, even though the manufacturer's instructions stated otherwise.

 

And then . . . . She put a pool noodle under the car seat?!?!?! She claims that when she had her training in May that she was told that this was acceptable. She was prompted to do this because once the  latch system was tightened, DD was no longer at a 45 degree angle. The noodle did fix the problem . . . . but it just sounds too wacky to be safe?

 

Anyone know conclusively if this is a no go or if it's ok?

post #2 of 19

This is normal, and common!

post #3 of 19

What seat do you have?

 

In most seats, a 14mo does not need to be at a 45° angle.  A typical child of that age can be more upright.

 

post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies. I had no idea about this noodle thing!

 

It's a Britax Advocate. And yeah, I thought that a 45 degree angle was only necessary for an infant.

post #5 of 19

I'm not a CPST, but I know that our Blvd can be more upright than that.  I don't remember if the angle is 30 or 35 degrees, but it's somewhere around there. Why don't you go over to car-seat.org and ask folks for advice?   And yes, you can tether Britax convertibles when rearfacing as long as you can find an appropriate tether point.  

post #6 of 19

Yes, the noodle thing seems wacky, but our state car safety seat trainer advised the exact same thing.  Other folks may say to use a rolled-up towel, but those are not standard in that you can roll it tightly or loosely, different sized towels, etc.  Noodles are standard.  Though it's kind of odd, if it's safe and it works, I guess that's better than some industry-created fix that would probably be a lot more expensive!  Wonder who thought of it first?

 

I'm with you on staying RF.  Our LO is close to 30 pounds at 18 months, but he will stay RF until age 2.  That's that, and when I hear flak about it, I ignore it.

post #7 of 19

If you don't put something under the base, how do you get the right angle?  I know with bigger kids it's not as important, but with babies they are supposed to be at the proper angle indicated on the car seat.  I have rarely (if ever) installed a rear-facing seat in a car that was reclined enough without something under it.  I roll up a blanket or a towel and install over it -- I can still get a perfectly tight install that way and have never had it loosen up or shift or anything.

 

I have read my car seat manuals and never found in them the info that the seat doesn't need to be fully reclined for toddlers -- I've only read that online.  Maybe they just think it's safer to tell people that all rear-facing installs should be at the appropriate angle.

 

I think your seat might be the only one on which you can use the tether rear-facing -- maybe that's why she didn't know.

post #8 of 19

A rolled up towel is also a fine solution.  Pool noodles are not 'standard', they are just convenient.

 

A pool noodle and a rolled towel are both excellent options for a rear facing infant seat if you cannot get a 45 degree angle with the seat adjustment alone.   

 

However, a 14 month old should not be at a 45 degree angle, and tethering your Britax Advocate in the rear facing position is not only allowed, it's preferred by the manufacturer.  And, of course, rear facing is the only reasonable and safe option for a child of that age.  

 

It sounds like you got a technician who paid attention in her tech course but may have had a very poor teacher. 

post #9 of 19


Right now, the ONLY manufacturer that doesn't say specifically that an older child can/should be more upright is Dorel, and they announced at ABC this year that their new seats in production will have updated guidelines for a 30 degree recline for older children.  

 

As far as rear facing tethering goes, three manufacturers allow it, Britax, Combi, and Sunshine Kids, so that's more than a dozen convertibles.   However, it's not allowed in the more commonly seen brands off the Walmart shelf (Graco, Dorel, Evenflo.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnygir1 View Post

If you don't put something under the base, how do you get the right angle?  I know with bigger kids it's not as important, but with babies they are supposed to be at the proper angle indicated on the car seat.  I have rarely (if ever) installed a rear-facing seat in a car that was reclined enough without something under it.  I roll up a blanket or a towel and install over it -- I can still get a perfectly tight install that way and have never had it loosen up or shift or anything.

 

I have read my car seat manuals and never found in them the info that the seat doesn't need to be fully reclined for toddlers -- I've only read that online.  Maybe they just think it's safer to tell people that all rear-facing installs should be at the appropriate angle.

 

I think your seat might be the only one on which you can use the tether rear-facing -- maybe that's why she didn't know.



 

post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maedze View Post

Right now, the ONLY manufacturer that doesn't say specifically that an older child can/should be more upright is Dorel, and they announced at ABC this year that their new seats in production will have updated guidelines for a 30 degree recline for older children.  

 

As far as rear facing tethering goes, three manufacturers allow it, Britax, Combi, and Sunshine Kids, so that's more than a dozen convertibles.   However, it's not allowed in the more commonly seen brands off the Walmart shelf (Graco, Dorel, Evenflo.)

 


I stand corrected, I guess, on the seats with rear-facing tethers.

 

I have, however, read my manuals cover to cover numerous times, and they do not say that the angle of the rear facing seat should be different for older children than infants.  My seats are older, but not expired.

 

post #11 of 19
Pool noodles were always used by the fire dept where my kids had car seat checks when they were small.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks to everyone for the responses!

 

We're going to tether the seat, the manual does say it can be done. I didn't realize there were so few models that can be tethered when rear facing. That explains why the tech hadn't heard of it.

 

I think we may have to ditch the noodle anyhow, it's causing the seat to slant to one side. For some reason, I can't seem to straighten it out. She'll be fine with a 30 degree angle, and I was able to get a tight install in that position sans noodle. Glad to know that it is ok though! I thought the CPST was off her rocker when she suggested it. blush.gif

post #13 of 19

I loved the pool noodle idea. 

post #14 of 19

What seats do you have?  As I explained, only Dorel does not make a distinction, and they are about to change that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnygir1 View Post

I stand corrected, I guess, on the seats with rear-facing tethers.

 

I have, however, read my manuals cover to cover numerous times, and they do not say that the angle of the rear facing seat should be different for older children than infants.  My seats are older, but not expired.

 



 

post #15 of 19

Look, I don't want to argue with you, but I don't think your information is correct for every seat that is still in use.  I have two Evelflo Tributes that have not yet expired, and there is nothing in either manual about the angle being different for older children.  I've read the manuals many times and reviewed them again after this conversation.  Just because you "explained" it (or stated it) doesn't make it true.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maedze View Post

What seats do you have?  As I explained, only Dorel does not make a distinction, and they are about to change that.

 



 

post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnygir1 View Post

Look, I don't want to argue with you, but I don't think your information is correct for every seat that is still in use.  I have two Evelflo Tributes that have not yet expired, and there is nothing in either manual about the angle being different for older children.  I've read the manuals many times and reviewed them again after this conversation.  Just because you "explained" it (or stated it) doesn't make it true. 

 


It is true, with the small exception of the First Years True Fit, which says the angle must be no more upright than 35*.  

 

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama2soren View Post

It is true, with the small exception of the First Years True Fit, which says the angle must be no more upright than 35*.  

 


Okay, I guess the issue must be my ability to read the manual.

 

post #18 of 19

It might be that the angle information is not in the car seat manual, but the information does exist with crash testing and Safe Kids provides all this information to their techs.  A well-informed CPST will know this and have access to the data.  

 

You can call the manufacturer for your seat and ask what an acceptable upright angle range is for a rearfacing child who is no longer a newborn and who doesn't need the 45 degree angle for airway support.

post #19 of 19

yep, we used pool noodles too when we used rear facing infant seats that didn't have the right angle. helped tremendously. 

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