Delaware doctor designs car seat cover that’s actually easy to clean
■ He knew there had to be a better way to attack the breeding ground for germs.
Making sidelines pay
Doctors who branched out beyond running their practice tell why they did it, how they did it, and what you should know before you do it.
» Other installments
Name: Allen R. Friedland, MD
Specialty: Internal medicine/pediatrics
Location: Newark, Del.
Company: Safer Child Products sells a removable, washable cover for children’s car seats (link).
Annual revenue: Numbers are not available.
Why he started the business: Dr. Friedland was frustrated by the difficulty of cleaning his two daughters’ car seats. The seat had to be disassembled in order to remove the cover. He then would visit the local department of motor vehicles to ensure that the seat was reinstalled correctly.
He informally surveyed friends and found that many of them also were removing and cleaning their children’s car seats. Others never did, although they tried to vacuum out the crumbs.
“I decided that there had to be another way,” Dr. Friedland said. “I imagine that children’s car seats must be a breeding ground for germs.”
About five years ago, he started shopping for something that would make car seats easier to clean. “There really wasn’t anything,” he said. At the time, he and his wife, Stacey, were looking for a hobby they could share, so they decided to solve this problem.
They took apart car seats that no longer were being used. After the children went to bed, Dr. Friedland and his wife made paper models and sewed prototypes for what would become the Secure and Fast, Easily Removable Child Car Seat Cover.
The company launched a few years ago. The cover is easily washable and fits many convertible car seats. It is incompatible with infant carriers, car seats with adjustable head rests, and belt positioning booster seats. The cover is available from the website and some specialized retail outlets.
Why he still practices: By day, Dr. Friedland teaches and provides primary care to adults and children. “I still love my patients, and I love my teaching responsibilities. It’s the best.”
Words of wisdom: “You can be successful keeping your day job and be able to do a business on the side.”