Anyway, my goal is to do no harm to my children. I want to help them thrive physically, mentally, and spiritually. Anytime that I feel like I have harmed my child in any way, I feel terrible. Usually, it's a psycological harm I worry about. Was I too harsh with them, did I raise my voice needlessly, was my frustration taken out on them? But, I try very, very hard to do all I can to keep their minds, bodies, and souls safe. So, imagine my horror this weekend, when the one piece of equipment that is supposed to keep him safe, hurt my little Phillip.
Just to back up a minute, I am a safety freak. You would think after three kids, I would have loosened up a little, but I haven't. We NEVER go without a carseat. There are no quick trips with a little one sitting in the seat. Olivia was almost 9 when she moved out of the booster seat into the regular seat. Phillip (and Matt) will be in a five point harness until it no longer fits. I research EVERYTHING and stay on top of recalls like a hawk. So, when I bought Phillip's carseat, I was sure it was the one for us. It had safety ratings higher than Britax, it was rated to 100 lbs, had the side impact wings, everything.
Anyway, Sunday, after church, I put the kids in the van to head home. Phillip was talking to Mom, so I started the car, cranked the air way up, put Matt's seat into it's base, Olivia got in her seat, and I buckled P in last. As I got in, he started screaming "Turn the hot off". I assumed he meant the car was hot and told him to chill, it would cool down in a minute. He then started screaming, "It's burning me, it's burning me". I told him he would be fine, and he stopped crying a couple of minutes later. He had missed his nap and I chalked the drama up to being over tired. He is not a crier at all.
We get home, eat some lunch, he and Mike wrestle a while and Olivia points out that he has red marks on his back. I don't look at them, I just tell her they are from him wrestling with Mike. Phillip is VERY fair and the least amount of pressure leaves a red mark on his skin for a few minutes.
Fast forward to bath time. Mike bathes Phillip and they spend about 30 minutes playing and learning (since March he's learned his ABCs, numbers to 30, and numbers to 10 in Spanish during bath time). Right after Mike puts him in the tub, he yells for me to come in there RIGHT NOW! I can hear Phillip crying. I run in there and he points to these three huge red blisters on Phil's back. I asked Phillip what they were (although I already sickeningly realized what they were), and he replied "It's where my carseat burned me, I told you that". My poor baby! The water was making them hurt again. The safety warning label (oh, the irony) on the backrest part of his carseat had gotten so hot that it blistered his skin. I noticed when I was putting him in that his shirt was getting too short and it hiked up in the back but thought NOTHING OF IT!
His poor little back
Oh, the guilt! I cannot believe this happened. We put burn cream on him and now, two days later, they are much better. He says they don't hurt anymore. I told our pediatrician about them and he couldn't believe it. I am always so careful about not letting the metal buckles touch his legs, but I never thought about the nylon tag.
So, I am emailing the company and asking for something to cover the tag or a refund on my carseat. I don't expect anything else, but I do think it's the least they could do. I am also going to ask that they recall that model. I mean, at least 1/4 of the year is hot, carseats are going to get hot. I try to keep them shaded and precool the car when I can, but it's not always practical.
The offending carseat, Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite
So, I have learned two lessons. First of all, don't assume your safety equipment is safe. Second, listen to your kids. Don't assume you know what they are talking about. If I had asked Phillip a couple of questions, I could have figured out what he was talking about. Granted, he would have already been burnt, but I could have treated them sooner. The thought that he soldiered through the discomfort all afternoon long, because I told him it was fine, breaks my heart. Go check your carseats people!