I became interested in child passenger safety when my oldest son was starting to outgrow his Century Smart Fit infant seat, or maybe it was just to heavy to carry him in the baby bucket. That was 10 years ago, in early 1999. I originally bought a Century Smart Move and could not get it installed rear-facing in a Saturn SL2 sedan. I didn’t realize at the time that the Smart Move was among the most difficult seats to install and the SL sedan was among the more difficult vehicles. Combined, it was a combination that baffled an engineer to the point where I wondered how vehicles and child seats could be designed to be so incompatible.
The cure? A Britax Roundabout. In the Zodiac pattern. Silky smooth push button harness adjuster, no-twist straps, rear-facing lockoffs, and a tether that could be used rear-facing. Worked like a magic charm, even in a vehicle known to be problematic because of a small back seat with sculpted, anti-submarining seat cushions.
Here’s a blast from the past. Some of my earliest CPS advocacy from 1999. It was a usenet newsgroup message in response to a troll who told someone to either put a child in the front seat or have aftermarket seat belts installed because they were having trouble installing a child seat. Seems kind of funny now, except that the troll could have killed someone else’s child with such bad advice :/
There’s always someone out there giving poor or even dangerous advice because they think they know better than a consensus of experts! From there, I decided to share what I had learned, eventually with a focus on the new LATCH system. I joined my local Safe Kids chapter and became a tech a few years later in 2001. Here’s a glimpse of an early version of my first website on the topic, also in 2001:
Sadly, today’s version of the website doesn’t look any more sophisticated lol. Any web developers interested?