We strap our children into car seats to keep them safe from harm, so why on earth do companies cover car-seats in harmful flame-retardant chemicals? The short answer is that all car seats sold in the United States are required to meet federal motion vehicle flammability regulation FMVSS 302 to reduce injuries in the event of a vehicle fire. HOWEVER, flame retardants have been proved to impose serious health risks. Risks include: cancer, immunotoxicity, reproductive toxicity, endocrine disruption, impairment of fetal and child development, interference in thyroid, liver, and neurological function.
It feels completely contradictory which is why it’s important to do your research when shopping for a car seat. An easy way to do this is to ensure that it meets the highest safety standards and the lowest chemical hazard rating from the most recent Ecology Center study on children’s car seats.
We personally chose the Clek Foonf in Mammoth which has best-in-class safety features and absolutely no flame retardants – it meets the highest safety standards and the lowest chemical hazard rating. This car seat is a tank, offering side-impact protection, an anti-rebound bar for rear-facing installation, and a steel and magnesium structure for added safety. And the fabric is 100% marino wool which is naturally flame resistant, temperature regulating and naturally hypoallergenic. Fun fact, the Canadian manufacturer was the very first to introduce convertible car seats without flame retardant chemicals.
Besides meeting all of the requirements for safety, our daughter is extremely comfortable in it. Her enjoyment in the car increased since we moved her to the Clek Foonf as she can see more and sits comfortably. It is rear and forward facing and is suitable for up to 65 pounds, so this purchase will last us quite some time. I can’t recommend it enough!