Parents: ever think about what your car seat is made of?

Technology |  2 min. read

Every parent knows what that is.  Because if you have a kid, and you have a car, you have a car seat.  Actually, a number of car seats.

There’s a car seat for babies (the kind you can “snap” out of your car and carry around).

Then there’s the car seat for your toddler (the one that starts out facing backward and then when your little one is old enough, turns around to face forward).

And finally (for parents), there’s the booster seat.  (“Finally” for kids, is when they get to sit like everybody else, and just wear a seat belt.)

But do you know what this is?

That — is the stuff car seats are made of:  a polypropylene molecule.

And here’s why using polypropylene to make car seats is good for parents and kids (in one “does” and four “doesn’ts”):

  1. It does make a car seat strong enough to protect a child.
  2. It doesn’t absorb water (or juice or milk or…well, if you’re a parent, you know).
  3. It doesn’t cost a lot (so things made from it, like car seats, are affordable).
  4. It doesn’t weigh a lot (good for parents carrying around kids in car seats).

A little car seat history (if you like that sort of thing). In 1933, if you were an early adopter, you could have outfitted your Studebaker or Packard or DeSoto with a Bunny Bear car seat.  Of course that car seat had a different purpose than today’s models — in 1933, the car seat was just to keep your kids from climbing all over the car while you were driving it.

By the ‘40s, the car seat had a new look and a new reason for being.  It looked more like today’s booster seat, and the purpose was to lift kids high enough to see outside the car.

 It isn’t till the ‘60s, that protecting children becomes the mission for car seats — and it’s not until 1979 that the first law requiring car seats is passed.  Tennessee did that.

Now if you’re wondering, what’s the stuff polypropylene is made of — that’s simple:  propylene.  A chain of propylene molecules (that’s where the “poly” comes from) make up each polypropylene molecule.  And where does propylene come from?  It’s a petrochemical (used to make all sorts of things) — which means it’s produced from oil and from natural gas.

So if you’ve got a “Baby on Board”, petroleum isn’t just fueling your ride, it’s also protecting your family.