After discovering my children had the most toxic car seats evaluated by the Ecology Center, I purchased two Evenflo Big Kid Deluxe Booster Car Seats. These booster seats were lower on the list of toxicity and available locally, so it was an immediate solution to our toxic car seat problem. After one 20 minute car ride with the Evenflo Big Kid Deluxe Booster Car Seats, I developed a headache and my lungs felt weird. I am not a very chemically sensitive person, but the fumes off these seats were unbearable. I returned the Evenflo Big Kid Deluxe Booster Car Seats, much to my daughter’s disappointment, as she liked the little lights above the shoulders she could turn on to read books in the car. I also felt that my almost three-year old son was too small for the seat, as he did not appear to be securely held. I did not want to purchase another five point harness seat, as he would only be able to to use it for a few more months, and he had already outgrown his old, toxic one.
Disappointed, I went back to Healthycar.org and revisited the list. I decided to order the Britax Parkway Booster Car Seat for my children. A friend let my children sit in her Britax Parkway Booster Car Seat, as I was concerned my daughter would not tolerate the wrap around sides around the neck and head that provide side impact protection.
We have been using our Britax Parkway Booster Car Seatfor two weeks now, and we love them! The extra support around the neck and head is perfect for sleeping in the car, and my son is held snuggly in this car seat. The seats had a faint odor when first out of the box, but this odor was not detectable at all in the car. The Britax Parkway Booster Car Seatreceived a toxicity rating of 0.5 compared the 5 rating of our old seats. It was worth the extra expense ($84.00 a piece on sale) to have the peace of mind that my children are not breathing in toxic fumes in the car (well not as much). In addition, I truly believe the Britax Parkway Booster Car Seatis a safer car seat, as described by the product description: “The Britax Parkway belt-positioning booster has been designed for increased safety incorporating deep torso and adjustable height head support. True Side Impact Protection, developed by Britax engineers, has been confirmed through rigorous side impact sled testing to better contain a child in dangerous side-impact crashes. The seat shape correctly positions the lap belt over your childs pelvis while the shoulder belt guide keeps the vehicle belt comfortably away from his/her neck.”
I find it interesting that the Britax company could have one of the least toxic car seats in the booster department, but this same company ranks highly in the convertible car seat model. I hope that one of these days our children will truly be protected from toxic products. I am so tired of learning about lead and other harmful substances in products designed for children. It just doesn’t make sense.