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August 16, 2008

Should you use a custom car seat cover?

Chiccocarseat Sometimes the covers that come on car seats are just not attractive. Or maybe after too many juice spills or diaper blowouts, the cover just isn't clean anymore. Have you thought about buying an after-market car seat cover?

You may want to think again.

Did you know that if your car seat owner's manual forbids the use of after-market accessories, and your state has a clause in the car seat law that requires proper use of car seats according to manufacturer instructions you could be in violation of state law if you use an after-market cover? It's not something to take lightly.

If you didn't know this, then you will want to check out the Baby Products blog at The writer, Heather Corley, is a child passenger safety technician with Safe Kids USA. As such, she recommends against using after-market covers unless they provided by the car seat manufacturer.

She also notes:

*Custom covers may not be flame-retardant
*They may not fit properly, interfering with your ability to properly adjust the seat harness
*You could void your car seat warranty
*There are no federal standards governing the after-market covers.

So think carefully about whether you really need an after-market cover, or whether a thorough cleaning of your current cover will work.

Image: dazed81 (cc)

Becky_headshot_2By Becky Scott
Contributing Editor

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