flame retardants and car seats - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 08-20-2013, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, so I can only read about chemicals for so long before I decide to burn down my house and move to Europe on the insurance money, so I need to ask a few questions that I am sure with hours of reading and searching I could find answers to, but at 41 weeks pregnant, the likely-hood of the aforementioned tragedy striking is increasing with each second that I am still pregnant. (and its August, and HOT)

I just got a new car seat for this little bambino, should he ever decide to exit my womb. When the nasty nasty overwhelming smell of plastic hit me upon opening the box, I remembered that it is covered in terrible flame retardants. YUCK.

1- Is there any way to limit the exposure? Wash the cover?  With soap? Line dry? Soak in vinegar?  Ive heard so so much. 

2- I've also heard talk of just covering it up, with an aftermarket cover (not interested really) or with a light cotton blanket (so as to not pose a safety risk in compression, ect)

 Is that really the answer? I guess I do not know enough about HOW these chemicals are bad for us. It seems to me if covering the chemical laden seat up with a thin cotton blanket cut the exposure, then why are folks worried about their mattresses and the foam in their cushions? All of those things are covered up.


I know that my best bet is to limit the amount of time he is IN the car seat, but I am a  homebirth midwife, so  he and I will be logging some miles together on prenatal days till he is more mobile.




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#2 of 4 Old 08-20-2013, 05:30 PM
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All I can share is what we will be doing.

We have to buy a new seat for this one. I'll buy it early and leave it to sit. I'll wash the cover and line dry it. I'll spray the whole thing down and wipe it. That's all. I have used aftermarket shearling liners when we lived in a very hot part of the world. Here I probably won't.

Also, I'll buy a seat that doesn't come out of the car, a Marathon probably. No baby seat and certainly not carry them in it sleeping. In and out of the carseat, into a sling, lots of fresh air.

Hope baby comes soon!
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Hi, I'm Tabitha. I'm a homeschooling mother of five: ds (13) dd (11) ds (9) ds (7) and dd (2) Find me at
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#3 of 4 Old 08-20-2013, 07:15 PM
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Read the instructions before you wash the carseat cover and make sure you never wash the straps.  Aftermarket products are not safe, so I would definitely not encourage that!  We let ours offgas and washed the cover.


Off topic, but unless you have kids under the 30th percentile in height the Britax convertibles are not highly recommended (short shells).  I love them for their convenience features, but there are safer seats (that will last longer rear-facing, which is the safest thing you can do) for average height and larger children.



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#4 of 4 Old 10-01-2013, 10:36 AM
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What you can smell is mostly phthalates, the additives used to make plastics soft and bendable: for fabrics, synthetic carpeting, foam, furniture stuffing.  And yes, it's a hormone disruptor.  Like Tabitha says, air it as often as you can until that "new" smell goes away. Air the car often. For the next one, sniff before you buy. Or buy well ahead of when you'll need it, and air it.  Good luck!

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