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2015 Recommended Child Restraints for CPS Programs & Updated List of Where Carseats Are Made

Behold our updated list of Recommended Child Restraints for CPS Programs! Several popular options have been discontinued and a few new ones have been added so it was time to refresh the list. We hope to see more production moved to U.S. facilities since several ideal program seats on the list are out of reach for many injury-prevention programs because they are currently made abroad.

Speaking of where carseats are made, we also took this opportunity to update our County of Origin – Where Carseats Are Made blog. We added all the new models that have hit the market in the last 12 months. I’m happy to report that consumers now have more options for carseats and boosters made in the USA and hopefully that list will continue to grow in the future!

Made in the USA

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What Is a Child Passenger Safety Technician?

CPST stickerWhat is a child passenger safety technician? And why do I constantly have to explain that mouthful to everyone I introduce myself to? Who created this crazy title? I’m extra special in that I even have the word “Instructor” after my long title, which means that I must teach people how to be this mysterious technician thingy. So what are we all technical about? Because we can get quite technical about such things as crash forces, why there are weight limits for carseats, injury and death statistics, vehicle safety features, biomechanics, and other fun things. Yes, fun things :) . Do you know what a child passenger safety technician is? Did you know before you started Googling for information about carseats for your child?

A child passenger safety technician teaches parents how to use their carseat for their child. We teach the parent how to install the carseat in their vehicle and how to install their child (giggle) in the carseat. We’ll even help with the selection of the carseat for both the child and the vehicle because each and every time it will be a *custom* choice. What works for your sister or best friend may not work for you. Cars and babies are built differently and if the carseat doesn’t fit either perfectly, it can be a deadly combination.

So going back to this awful mouthful—child passenger safety technician—it’s on a lot of stuff that I own. It’sHW business card my profession, so I have business cards and clothing with the wording. My SUV has a sticker on the back window proclaiming that I am a CPST. It’s my third car with the same sticker; I guess at one point I thought someone might ask me about it, but no one has. I think for my next car I’ll leave the back glass pristine. It’s not as if it gets me into a crime scene or anything.

And you’d think that a certification, an actual certification that requires several days in class with several tests along the way (ask those who drop out of the class if they think it’s a piece of cake), would garner some respect. But it all goes back to the fact that no one knows what a child passenger safety technician is. Maybe we should be called Carseat Techs or Carseat Educators (but never Carseat Installers). I suppose that we’re likely not going to get much respect because the majority of us in the field are women and child safety issues aren’t sexy. Well tough, because this child passenger safety technician will continue to educate on safety issues, but I may introduce myself simply as the “carseat tech you have an appointment with.” It’s easier that way.

Tech Card

How to Buy Non-Toxic Furniture

Old LabelBack in 2012, we wrote about the history of flame-retardant chemicals in furniture sold in the United States. It’s a long, sordid story, but the bottom line is that dousing cushions with pounds of chemicals is not only almost completely ineffective at preventing the spread of fire, the chemicals have been linked to adverse and serious health effects, including cancer, developmental deficits, and infertility.

For decades, consumer advocates had tried to get these dangerous chemicals removed from household products, with little success. Over the years, some of the “worst” chemicals were phased out, only to be replaced by other chemicals that were at best questionable, and at worst just as bad as their predecessors. The real problem was a California law (TB117) that required upholstered furniture to meet an open-flame test. Although this wasn’t a national standard, furniture companies implemented it across the board. Strong lobbying by the tobacco and chemical industries repeatedly blocked any real change from happening.

Then the Chicago Tribune ran a series of investigative pieces on the issue, and lawmakers started listening.

Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Convertible Review – Safety, Comfort & Style

Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 - Devoted Black frontMaxi-Cosi is Europe’s most popular brand of premium carseats. Even though the Maxi-Cosi carseats sold here in the U.S. are not the same seats that are sold in Europe (due to different standards and regulations), American parents are embracing the brand and everything that it stands for – safety, comfort and style.

Let’s clarify that there are three different models of the Maxi-Cosi Pria convertible that are currently available. Four, if you count the less expensive Maxi-Cosi Vello 65 model which is similar but lacks some of the features found on the various Pria models.

Maxi-Cosi Pria collage

 

Differences between Pria 70 & Pria 85 models: Both models have no re-thread harness; deep head wings with Air Protect technology for enhanced side-impact protection; push-on LATCH connectors; 3 position base and integrated cup holder. Pria 70 and Pria 85 models share the same shell but have different minimum and maximum weight limits. Both seats have Air Protect cushions on the headwings but the shape of those cushions are different. Pria 85 model offers harness holders, a cover that is easier to remove and both machine washable and dryer safe.

Pictured below Pria 70 (left) & Pria 85 (right)

Pria 70 (Blue) ; Pria 85 (Pink) Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 and Pria 80 - naked

Pria 85 Specs:

  • Rear-facing: 5-40 lbs., 40″ or less, top of child’s head must be below top of the headrest
  • Forward-facing:  22-85 lbs., at least 1 year old, up to 52″ tall

Pria 85 Features:

  • No-rethread harness with 9 height positions
  • Air Protect® technology for enhanced side-impact protection
  • 3-position base
  • Premium push-on LATCH connectors
  • Harness holder clips (hold harness out of the way while loading and unloading)
  • Easy to remove cover is both machine washable & dryer safe
  • Premium fabrics
  • Separate harness strap covers for kids over 65 lbs. (only required if seat is NOT tethered)
  • Integrated cup holder
  • FAA approved for use in aircraft
  • 10 year lifespan before expiration