In searching for a new car seat, you often encounter terminology that you may not understand. What is this EPS and EPP foam the car seat manufacturer keeps boasting about? And what does it mean for me and my child? It is important to have as much knowledge and understanding of your child’s safety seat as possible. Your child’s life literally depends on it. Here, you will gain a better understanding of some of the most important safety features included in many of today’s car seats.
EPS stands for Expanded Polystyrene and is most commonly known as Styrofoam. It is often used in items such as portable coolers and bicycle helmets. It is made up of thousands of mini beads that can be molded into various shapes and sizes. EPS foam has the ability to withstand a lot of abuse, but can also snap or tear. EPS is relatively inflexible and breaks easily when compared to EPP.
EPP stands for Expanded Polypropylene. This is a high-grade engineering foam that has an elastic nature, allowing it to regain its shape when deformed. EPP foam has such extreme strength in fact, that it is often used in automotive bumpers. EPP usually recovers completely from impacts and is harder to tear than EPS.
So what does all of this information mean for you and your kids? Basically, since all car seats must meet certain government regulations for safety, both EPS and EPP foam provide adequate protection in a collision. Many high-end child safety seat companies will use EPP foam, which often costs up to four times that of EPS foam. EPP foam is flexible, which means it may not become permanently damaged as readily as that of EPS. This means that after an accident, the car seat with EPP foam may sustain its original shape better than the one with EPS. Some parents feel more comfortable using safety seats made up of EPP, as it is a higher-end product. However, since any car seat that has been in an accident should be deemed ineffective, it should be replaced, regardless of the type of energy-absorbing material inside of it. This is a personal decision to be considered. The important thing is that you have an understanding of what these different “ingredients” inside your child’s seat mean.
Driving has become such a mundane, every day activity that it is easy to forget how dangerous it can be. When it comes to the safety of your children, it is imperative that they are as protected as possible.