The Snugglebundl Crash Testing Journey
In the early days the inventors- 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.
We decided to invest in having it crashed tested using the best centre we 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 (the image for this blog), 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
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 restraint 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 but 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 Snugglebundl crash testing is for extra reassurance.
Why do some people say that there should be no blanket under the baby in the car seat?
Padding at the front is the issue. Go check the back of your car seat and you'll find it is padded by more than a little amount. Also the inserts provided by the actual manufacturers are padded too. In fact car seats in general are made up of mainly of very thick foam.
This is because, in the event of an accident, the passengers go forwards, not backwards. If a person/baby has too much compressible material on the chest area it will compress and therefore create a bigger gap to slip out of in the event of a crash. In short, the concern a blanket under a baby is more of a rumour than scientific fact. The Snugglebundl is no thicker than a baby gro so no need to be concerned about this issue at all.
Why do car seat experts reccomend no extra layers?
The reason for this is due to reducing layers and 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 deemed as perfectly safe by car seat experts. Indeed, this is why all the experts we consulted said it didn’t actually 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 crash tested in 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 worn in it. Unpadded 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.
Margaret Bolt - Leading car seat expert
“As a car seat expert and a mother or seven myself, I’d be very happy to recommend a Snugglebundl”
To see her video click here.
Snugglebundl Is a family business that takes car seat safety seriously
We, as a small family business, use this product ourselves so safety is the most important factor. In addition to expert endorsements, tens of thousands of parents/babies have now used and loved their Snugglebundls and shared fantastic reviews- here are a few for your reference.
New Mom: Out and about
Midwife: Karen Tribe
Dad's Reviews : Dadsnet
Product reviews: Trustpilot
Twin reviews: Designed For Twins
Multi Award Winning & Thoroughly Road Tested By Mom's, Dad's, Grandparents & Of Course babies
Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions 😊