What an exciting week JIA Seats had! We started to think about what we wanted our car seat to look like, even went to some stores to search for materials we would like to use. Based on our ideas that we have talked about since the first day, we all knew what we were looking for; a soft material and a lot of cushion to go with it. While at a fabric store we looked at which cloth we would like to use, feeling the texture and seeing how appealing to the eye it was. We found that even though a lot of the cloths were appealing to the eye they weren’t that soft, or that they’d probably hold in a lot of heat, making the child hot while sitting in it. The materials just weren’t matching up to our expectations. Each cloth had something we liked about it, but it didn’t fit the criteria we had created. Then we came upon a row of cloth that was visually appealing, soft, and wouldn’t retain much heat. With all of that we knew we had found our material.
We also looked at potential cushioning that we’d like to use in the car seat. We tested out the pillows by punching it, determining if it absorbed the impact well, or not. Many pillows just let our hand sink through, no resistance at all and we knew that would not be good for protecting the child. Then we came across memory foam and concluded that it was the best type of pillow. It was soft and when we hit it, the pillow would sort of push back, making a small indent. The pillow was what we were looking for. Then we saw a foam and got the idea to wrap it around the pillow. It would add extra cushion, a little more protection if there ever was impact. What we noticed while looking at the pillows and foam was that the higher the price the better quality it seemed to be. We want our product to be cost efficient, so we will find a way to use these materials and still not have a high priced car seat.
Our next stop was Target to look at car seats. The most common thing we saw was where the cushion was on the seat. Only the part that supported the head had the cushion, the sides and where the child sits had no cushion. We want the whole seat to have cushion. Sometimes a child is in a seat for hours, just sitting on plastic is not good for them. The child needs something for support, and that’s what the memory foam will be. Not just on the side, or on one part of the seat, but all over the seat, to protect the head, back, and bottom. Just like the pillows, the better quality car seat had the most cushion. It should not be that way, even those that are cheap should still have a lot of cushion. Each child needs to be protected. Our search of car seats did turn out well, we found a seat that was reasonable in price and had a good cushion.
Then we looked at dolls to see what type we want to use as a test dummy. As a team JIA Seats decided we wanted something that was as real as possible, in size and weight. Something that would really resemble a child so that we would know how the impact would affect the child. It did take a while, a lot of the dolls were cute, but didn’t meet the requirements we had set up. Some dolls would look big enough, but weren’t “heavy” enough, others would have the weight but would be too small. We needed balance and we got that with the baby doll you see on the right.
It was exciting to get all our ideas together and put them together while also getting new ideas.