I was inspired to make a seat belt pillow for my granddaughter from a Pinterest photo. I described how I made the seat belt pillow in a blog post. However, several people sent comments expressing safety concerns about using any pillow with a seat belt. Therefore, I have removed the original post, and would strongly discourage anyone from using any type of pillow in conjunction with a seat belt.
Following are the comments I received on this post, verbatim as I received them.
Anonymous posted: This is not safe. If a child falls asleep in a car often they should be harnessed. Or at least in a highback booster that keeps them in position while they sleep. Consult with a CPST before using anything like this. (7/24/12 at 4:01 pm)
Jenni Jones posted: This is so adorable and look so soft, but it's super dangerous! In the event of a crash the seatbelt is not going to function properly and protect the child as was designed. If the seatbelt is not sitting low on the child's hips and crossing the chest on the shoulder they are in the incorrect seat for their size - the seatbelt should not be digging into their necks! (7/24/12 at 4:08 pm)
Miranda Guzman posted: I really really love the idea of this our family travels all the time and the kids never look comfy (but the do sleep :)) These look fabulous!
My question is related to safety standards do you have any information on how this pillow effects the accurate/proper safety standard of the seat belt when involved in a crash?? I know as a NICU nurse we teach to never ever put anything between the baby and the straps - not even a coat, so I am just wondering if the seat belts and older kids are different?
Thanks so much!
Miranda (7/24/12 at 4:26 pm)
Kira =] posted: Actually, as a CPST I need to let you know that's unsafe to use. In an accident the pillow could compress and let the child slide out of her seatbelt. If you find she is slumped over in her seat, then she needs a different seat. Try a high back booster with or without a 5 point harness.
My 7 year old falls asleep almost every day, for that reason, I keep her in a 5 point harness. We were in a car accident earlier this year and the 5 point harness kept her in place and injury free (because again, she was asleep). If she had been in a seat like your granddaughter's she would've sustained injuries because she would have been slumped over probably slid right out of the belt.
(7/24/12 at 5:23 pm)