In the early days David Solomons, Mike and Heidi Edwards realised that the lift and lay blanket worked really well in removing a baby from a car seat fast asleep! Knowing that it needed to be assessed for this purpose, they contacted Product Safety Experts and asked if it needed to be crash tested. The advisors all said that it was not a concern for these reasons:
- The Snugglebundl had no padding in the front or back.
- It was made from a thin dense cotton which does not compress. In fact, its compressive value is less than that of a warm jumper which also does not require crash testing to use in a car seat.The Snugglebundl opens and allows the straps to go straight over the baby and not over the product.
Nonetheless, we kept being asked if it was crash tested so, to reassure customers, Snugglebundl decided to have it crashed tested using the best centre they could find (the world class US Calspan Corporation who also work for NASA!). Even though the crash testing engineer also advised that it was not necessary we were adamant that we wanted to ensure our customers felt 100% safe when using their Snugglebundl in a car seat.
Four scientific crash tests were completed for both three and five point harnesses in the most popular car seats with different dummies to cover new born to 18 months. The key factor the crash test is interested in is movement. As you will see by the before and after impact images, they show that the baby has not moved in its seat and that the harness has not been compromised regarding tightness or position.
The Engineer managing the crash testing, William Horn, said that it not only passed but passed impeccably (as expected).
Image of a crash test for EU R44
Image of crash test for US FMVSS213
No car seat manufacturer recommends any products/accessories in their car seat that they don’t make themselves?
This is as it should be. It would be inappropriate for them to endorse/encourage use of accessories that they themselves have not produced. Every accessory that a car seat expert recommends has also not been recommended by car seat manufacturers. Tested or otherwise. The main concern of manufacturers is interference with the restrain system. The Snugglebundl does not attach to or inhibit the restraint system in any way. Also, the manufacturer cannot control and test every product that a baby wears or uses. However, they also know that babies do not travel unclothed and that babies will be dressed. The Snugglebundl is classed as a garment, less than 1mm thick around the baby and similar in thickness to a baby gro. The crash test is for extra reassurance.
Don’t car seat experts advise no blanket under the baby in the car seat?
The reason for this is due to layers/compressibility. You want nothing in your baby’s car seat that is padded, very thick or easily compressible. The Snugglebundl is akin to the thickness of a baby grow and made from a dense cotton fabric that will not easily compress. The Snugglebundl is nowhere near as thick as car seat liners that go at the back of a baby and is perfectly safe. Indeed, this is why all the experts we consulted said it didn’t require crash testing.
Don’t you have to test it in all baby car seats?
This is impractical and unnecessary. Three and five point harnesses are all made to safety regulations and the sizes are anatomically designed for the same age groups. If this wasn’t the case then not all babies would fit in all baby car seats. Also it’s important to remember that, where the Snugglebundl is concerned, it is safe to use in any cars seat design as no material goes under the harness at the chest and it has no padding, front or back. As long as a product is safely tested for a three and five point harness, which are designed anatomically for the same babies, then testing in every car seat would be like duplicating the same science over and over.
Crash tests compliance is normally 30mph. What if the vehicle is going faster?
In normal crash situations people brake and collide with objects that absorb energy during the deformation process (such as the car crumbling in on itself, other cars, bushes or malleable metal barriers etc). A crash test is designed to be from 30mph to a dead stop with no front bumper or inbuilt energy absorption, no brakes and without hitting an energy absorbent surface. This therefore covers any other plausible, survivable crash situations. The 30mph limit is literally life or death- any sudden collision, with no energy absorption that is much faster than 30mph is not considered to be easily survivable. This is why this speed limit and crash test condition is set as a world wide standard.
What about warranty coverage if you use an accessory not specifically designed by the car seat manufacturer?
This refers to items that are attached to the car seat or wrapped around the car seat that can cause damage or hinder its performance in the event of a crash. Examples given are mirrors, toys, fitted blankets, inserts not designed for the car seat, head supports, car seat canopies, attachable mosquito nets, attached sun blockers etc. However, the manufacturer would have to prove that an accessory was used and is dangerous and unsuitable for their seat in order to not honour a warranty. The Snugglebundl is a soft garment, not attached in any way and not a hard accessory. It does not interfere with the restraining system and has no padding etc. To reiterate, the Snugglebundl has been tested and documented as not to compromise the effectiveness of the car seat.
What about side impact?
This is taken care of by the car seat design itself—not what is warn in it. Soft clothing is not required to be tested for this eventuality. For a hard accessary like a drink stand etc then the producer may be required to prove that it would not cause possible injury in the event of a crash. Car seat advisors will give advise regarding such accessories.
Snugglebundl is a small family business who use this product themselves and put safety as the most important factor. Tens of thousands of parents have now used our product and given fantastic reviews.
“As a car seat expert and a mother or seven myself, I’d be very happy to recommend a Snugglebundl” Margaret Bolt- leading UK car seat expert.
Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any further questions. Keep safe 😊