How far is too far?

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I understand that we’re all passionate about safety. And at some point or another, most of us have had to deal with criticism from friends or family members who think we’ve taken this whole car safety thing too far and just gone right off the deep end. Usually, we just brush off these ignorant remarks because deep in our hearts we know that we’re right and obviously they just don’t get it. We’re aware of the fact that MVC’s are a leading cause of death to children in the U.S. and we’re all determined to protect our children to the best of our abilities. That’s our job as parents and caregivers and we all take that responsibility very seriously. I understand that, I really do – because I’m right there with ya.

But how are we to know if we’ve really gone too far? Certainly our safety-addicted friends at car-seat.org would never stage an intervention on our behalf. And our spouse would probably rather walk across hot coals than incur our wrath by suggesting that maybe, just maybe, we’re being a bit too extreme.

So, who’s gonna give it to ya straight and tell you when it’s time to chillax? Who’s going to remind you that you can’t save the world and completely eradicate all injuries to all children in MVCs – no matter how desperately you want to? Who’s gonna tell you when it’s time to step away from that vehicle in the Walmart parking lot because clearly you’re not dealing with an appreciative and open-mined victim?

I will.

However, the first step to getting help is to admit that you have a problem. Don’t think you have a problem? Get in line. And while you’re there – take our short survey:

1. Do you find yourself repeatedly trying to talk your sister-in-law into buying a Radian to rear-face your tiny 7-year-old niece who weighs 43 lbs?

2. When you go grocery shopping do you spend 20 minutes thinking about the most appropriate way to secure those projectiles for the ride home?

3.  Have you purchased more carseats for other people’s kids than you have for your own children?

4.  Have you ever considered gluing sheets of EPS foam to the rear windows of a vehicle that doesn’t have side curtain airbags?

5.  Do you lose sleep thinking about your neighbor’s child who is 5 years old and rides in a backless booster?

6.  Do you respond “ABSOLUTELY”, when someone posts an online poll asking whether you would put a small, immature 13-year-old back into a 5-point harness?

7.  Have you ever refused to ride the monorail at WDW because you considered it too risky?

8.  Do you have anxiety attacks when you see properly restrained forward-facing 2-year-olds?

9.  Do you always remember to secure your purse with an available safety belt?

10.  On Halloween, do you hand out copies of the 5-Step Test flyer instead of candy? (If you hand out the flyer WITH candy – that doesn’t count as a yes.)

If you answered yes to more than 1 question above – please do yourself a favor and go volunteer some of your time at carseat check events in the lowest, low-income inner-city area you can find within driving distance.  If you don’t have any impoverished inner-city areas within driving distance, then a rural, migrant farm worker community will suffice.  All kidding aside, these are the types of places where your knowledge, passion and dedication to Child Passenger Safety are desperately needed.  And seeing the frightening reality of how these children ride around every day will really help you to appreciate the beautiful sight of a properly restrained, albeit forward-facing, 2-year-old.  Everything in life is relative and a healthy perspective will keep you focused on the bigger picture – and help you avoid going off the deep end in the process.

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Happy Memorial Day

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Memorial Day Meme

Memorial Day Weekend Sales – Hot Deals on Carseats & Boosters

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Some of these Amazon Prime deals may have longevity but most are going to be strictly “while supplies last”, so don’t dilly-dally if you find a great price on something you really need or just seriously want.  I’ve only listed items with FREE SHIP and FREE RETURNS just in case it doesn’t work out.  Here at CarseatBlog.com we always recommend that you “try before you buy” but we understand that’s just not possible in many situations. Free shipping and free returns with Amazon Prime, in case it doesn’t pan out for whatever reason, is the next best thing!

 

Infant Carseats

safety 1st onboard 35 air - flutter Graco SnugRide 30 - metropolis B-Safe 35 red

Britax B-safe 35 Infant Car Seat in Black, Red or Sandstone for $168

Safety 1st OnBoard 35 Air in Decatur or Flutter for $115

Safety 1st onBoard 35 Infant Car Seat in Orion Blue or Orion Pink $89.99

Graco SnugRide 30 Classic Connect in Metropolis for $59.99 with coupon  ($74.99 minus extra 20% off with clipless coupon – you’ll see discount appear at checkout if coupon has been applied) 

Graco SnugRide 35 Click Connect in Tangerine for $93.59 with coupon ($116.99 minus extra 20% off with clipless coupon – you’ll see discount appear at checkout if coupon has been applied)

Graco SnugRide 40 Click Connect Car Seat in Azalea for $139.99

 

Convertible Carseats

Britax roundabout G4 - onyx Maxi-Cosi Pria - blue Graco Size4me - nyssa

Britax Roundabout G4.1 in Onyx or Silverlake $144.00

Combi Coccoro in Grape $191.99

Graco Contender 65 in Sapphire $119

Graco Size4Me 65 in Nyssa $129.00

Graco MyRide 65 in Jigsaw $95.99 with coupon ($119.99 minus extra 20% off with clipless coupon – you’ll see discount appear at checkout if coupon has been applied)

Evenflo Momentum in Lilac or Bailey $125.99

Evenflo SureRide DLX in Paxton, Bishop or Nicole for $85 or less

Evenflo Symphony Elite 3-in-1 in Modesto $183.98

Throwback Thursday: Seatbelt Installs

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This morning, I educated a client on installing their Chicco Keyfit infant seat.  With little effort, they had it installed perfectly with LATCH.   Fifteen years ago, I started my first website with a page on the LATCH system and how it would revolutionize carseats by making them easier to install.  The Keyfit is a fine example of this revolution.

This afternoon, I listened to a great online webinar presented by SafeRideNews, publishers of the excellent LATCH Manual.  The best part of this manual is that it helps certified technicians and instructors wade through the insurmountable information in owner’s manuals, plus everything omitted from those manuals, and condenses it all into nice tables and charts.

In condensed form, this information is still over 230 pages long.  In fact, a typical parent has little chance in the real world of understanding relevant limits for using LATCH on a forward-facing carseat and even a few rear-facing ones.  I expect that most of those who manage to use LATCH correctly will not realize when they must switch to a seatbelt. Even with newer government standards, understanding when to use LATCH can still be mind-boggling for an experienced technician who owns the LATCH manual.  So much so that I am hesitant to install a forward-facing harnessed carseat with LATCH ever again, unless a seatbelt is not an option for any reason.

Back in 2000, I hoped that LATCH would make technicians obsolete.  Today, a technician has to have an advanced degree in LATCH in order to be able to correctly instruct parents on how to use lower anchors and/or top tethers.   I never thought I would miss locking clips and the good ‘ol days before LATCH was prevalent.

Quiz time:  What is quicker?  Installing a Britax Frontier with a long seatbelt path, or figuring out when you can use it with LATCH in a random vehicle that arrives at a checkup event?  If you’re not sure, then perhaps you agree with me that LATCH has become a complete debacle, at least for forward-facing carseats.