How do you know if a car seat accessory has integrity and is right for your family?

Let’s take a look at what’s important when considering a car seat accessory for your family.

We all want to keep our children safe in the car and car seat manufacturers have been doing just that for decades now. So how can you know if that small addition to your car seat is a good choice for your family?

When you are looking at that cute car seat cover, the tray table, or that neck pillow there are some things you need to consider.  Has the product been crash tested?  How does it rate against the Australian standards?  Has it been developed and manufactured with an appropriate level of integrity?

The car seat accessories standard (AS/NZS8005:2013) was brought out mid-2013 and is voluntary. So to begin with you want to make sure that you are using a car seat accessory made by a company that has chosen to crash test, even though it’s not legally necessary.

The core point of the accessories standard is to ensure the performance and protection of the child restraint is not compromised.  So, has the accessories company stated this?  Can they say they have undergone duty of care with extensive crash testing to ensure there is no effect on the performance of the child restraint allowing the child restraint to deliver it’s un-compromised protection?

Most car seat Manufactures don’t own an in-house crash facility and therefore turn to and work closely with, accredited ones such as Crashlab and APV Tech Centre, Australia’s only NATA accredited facility.  This is where a third party accessory would also need to be tested. We don’t know of many third party accessories that have gone to this extent, after all it’s a voluntary standard and testing costs an exorbitant about of money.

The accessories standard requires the accessory to follow the core issue of not interfering with the performance or protection of the restraint but that’s not really enough.  This is an important point.  What about the effects on the child?  Does it introduce any injury for the child?

  • Can the tray table ‘whack’ their head? Remember forces in an accident can be up to 20 times the force of gravity, so when a car stops suddenly, objects inside keep moving meaning a 1L bottle of water could ‘pack a 20kg punch’.
  • Does the neck pillow push their head forward and outside of the protection zone, which could be a disaster for a side impact accident?
  • Has the accessory or car seat cover undergone flammability testing.

Ensure you buy from companies that have used reputable testing facilities, perhaps AWTA Product Testing or CSIRO.  For products under a mandated standard (AS/NZS1754), approvals are given by companies such as SAI global who audit the product, so it’s important to use accredited testing facilities.

Are you buying from a business that has gone above and beyond with testing, keeping your child’s well-being at the forefront of their mind?

What about you?  Does the accessory have benefits that assist parents?  Does your little one keep having a nasty poo explosion on the seat and would a wee guard mean you might have less washing and is worth considering?  Does that head support help you concentrate on driving, instead of turning around at every set of lights to lift up a floppy head?  A Monash University study found children are 12x more distracting to drivers than mobile phones.

So, is there an accessory that will actually help YOU feel less stressed and distracted in the car, so you can focus on safely driving from A to B.

Are there independent reviews on the product, by parents and experts in the industry (think Engineers, Safety experts, perhaps Physiotherapists for comfort products), that can offer you an honest and unbiased opinion?

Ensure you are doing your homework.  Research the company’s website and find out how they perform in an accident.  Making guesses where your kids are concerned can lead to poor outcomes. Look for the evidence and focus on the facts and let those results influence your decision if a car seat accessory is right for your family.

 

Why don’t car seat manufacturers recommend third party accessories?

This is a question we are often asked. So let’s take a deeper look at the reason behind it:

The short answer is: to cover themselves (for liability) and why wouldn’t they want to!

Everyone wants to do their own research so they can comment accurately from data and facts. Just as we have done with our products. There is no point claiming something if you can’t back it up with the proper evidence.

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Australian Child Restraint Resource Initiative’s Review of Cozy Dozee

The Australian Child Restraint Resource Initiative (ACRI), if you aren’t familiar with the name, is an organisation dedicated to supporting authorised child restraint fitting stations. It is one of the main bodies in Australia that trains our wonderful car seat fitters.

ACRI ‘car seat fitters’ are actually ‘child passenger safety technicians’ because they take a holistic approach to your child’s safety. It’s never solely about the restraint you’re using or who ‘fitted’ it that makes the difference in travel safety. They’re also regularly kept up to date with best practices, road rule and other changes that constantly occur within the industry.

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How watching the news made me reflect on a blade of grass

I have to admit, I rarely watch the news. It does keep me in a bubble which has both positive and negative effects. Watching the news mostly makes me feel that clichéd feeling of ‘the news is depressing’. The highlight of positivity is always that last minute at the end of the program, where you might find out a new gorilla has been born at the zoo.

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Who, What, Why???

 

It’s Cozy Dozee’s 2nd birthday in a few days (8th Nov 2015) and I’m feeling all sentimental and reflective. So, I thought I’d take a moment today to officially introduce myself for those of you that don’t know me and let you know why I want to be here…

My name is Leanne and I am the Owner and Founder of Cozy Dozee. The official title ‘Managing Director’ doesn’t quite give the I feel like, so I’m sticking with the former!

For me, Cozy Dozee is all about feelings. Feeling comfortable, feeling cozy, feeling less stressed, feeling relieved and just plain old feel’in the love! Hang on is that me, or Cozy Dozee?! Anyway moving on…

I’m Mum to two gorgeous boys. Ok yes I may be sllllightly biased and currently holding back my hand from pasting in a ‘baby photo’ here, but really I’m not, they ARE gorgeous little souls! The idea for the Cozy Dozee was conceived, around 5 years ago, when my heart would break every time I saw my son’s head flopping forward while he was sleeping. You feel the same, right! There was nothing out there to help.

I know that awkward, uncomfortable position only too well and I don’t know about you, but my nervous system starts firing up when I see it! My heart crumbles and my concentration on the road is suddenly broken, as I’m thinking about how to help them. Know what I mean?

Over the next 2 years, I developed the Cozy Dozee and worked alongside Doctors in the fields of Engineering (Biomechanics) and Road Safety. Cozy Dozee was crash tested to Australian standards and I am happy to say passed them all! You can read more about the nitty gritty of that here: Testing

That has been the really amazing (and fun!) part for me and I’ve learned so much. The great thing is now I can share that education with you. I’m passionate about my product and how it can help you and your family.

A lovely side ‘bonus’ has been that I have been able to help many special needs families too. A few of these precious kiddies are pictured here: Giving Back. Cozy Dozee wasn’t developed for that specifically, but it’s funny the way things turn out. It’s been such a wonderful surprise along the way, one that I feel really great about and extremely proud of!

Cozy Dozee won the Silver Ausmumpreneur award for Innovation in 2014 and is backed by Professionals in Physiotherapy,Osteopathy and Chiropractic (Their testimonials are here: Testimonials).

So you know when you shop with me at Cozy Dozee, you will always be greeted by someone who has been in your shoes and knows how you feel. I will greet you with a warm smile (even if you can’t see if from that side of the computer, I guarantee you’ll feel it!).

I genuinely want to help you and I know that I can, because we have done the research and back our product 100%. When using a Cozy Dozee, you will feel relieved, less stressed, and happier to see your little angel sleeping more comfortably. Then you can concentrate on what needs to be done, driving from A to B, safely!

All of my products are Australian made, so I really am offering our customers a beautiful, high quality item that has had a lot of research and love put into it.

I hope you can feel it too!

Remember, if you ever have any questions or feedback, I’m only too happy to listen and help. Otherwise I invite you to head over to the website for a look around at www.cozydozee.com

Hear from you soon!