Conference/ABC Expo Archive

ABC Expo 2011: Everything Else!

Phew! I thought I’d never get them all done but I’m happy to report that this is the last ABC-related blog on this year’s show.  I almost wish I had an extra day or two just to try to cover the plethora of cool products that weren’t carseats or strollers.  Then again, if I did, I’d probably be blogging about the expo until Valentine’s Day so maybe it’s a good thing that we had to leave after 3 days.  

There were some incredible, creative displays at this show.  I think my favorite was the band for Rockin Green eco-friendly laundry detergent.  They made me wish I had stinky cloth diapers to clean!  Okay, not really but they were definitely memorable in a fun upbeat way! 



Baby carriers: Hotslings & Ergo



Accessories: City Grips - stroller handlebar covers (available in straight or curved)



Ju-Ju-Be bags & gear



 Foogo containers & insulated lunch bags



I leave you with one final image from the show. And my personal favorite… (thanks, Brooks!)




Child Passenger Safety & Alcohol

Usually, those two things do not go together.  Unless you’re at a Child Passenger Safety Conference in which case they go together very nicely!  Today I’m making mojitos after lunch. But I’d like to come up with fun, cps-related drinks or shots to offer our fellow party-friendly conference attendees.  So far, I’ve come up with Screaming Sceneras, Fuzzy Locking Latchplates & Dirty Bights (Darren’s idea – he says that sounds better than dirty cracks)!  ROFL! 

Anyhow, I don’t know what any of these drinks would be made with but we can iron out the details later.  Help us out here – we need more drink suggestions!

Britax Convertible Lockoff Tips and Guidance

We’re not done with the ABC Kids Expo yet!  Probably a few more blogs to come with some other tidbits from companies we didn’t mention, including some details on the new product from Peg Perego.  I imagine a photo dump is forthcoming as well.  Also, one thing I forgot to mention from Britax is that the Chaperone will have some minor revisions, including a slightly redesigned base that is a little shorter than before.  There are also a couple new fabrics and possibly another tweak or two.

Back to the topic of this blog.  Britax has made a very minor change to the built-in lockoff design on their new convertibles. This includes the Britax Roundabout 55Britax Marathon 70, Britax Boulevard 70, Britax Boulevard 70 CS, and Britax Advocate 70 CS.  The change is essentially a small rubber strip on the side of the lockoff area.  All of the new convertibles made after July 30th, 2010 should have this update.  Owners of models made before this date can request a kit from Britax to do the update.  This is considered a convenience feature change.  This change works in conjunction with the updated owner’s manuals that are being published online.  The new guidance from Britax is that you may use only one built-in lockoff, rather than two.  This removes a conflict with tabs built into certain vehicle seatbelt systems.  It may also makes it simpler to tighten the belt through a single closed lockoff, rather than two of them.  Though Britax recommends that one lockoff closest to the seatbelt buckle be used, they also offer an option not to use any lockoffs in vehicles where the seatbelt system can be locked with the retractor or latchplate.

Britax also has a suggestion on closing the lockoffs.  With the new lockoffs, you are supposed to leave the belt slightly loose when you close the lockoff, then pull slack through the closed lockoff to tighten it.  This is different than how the lockoffs worked on previous Britax convertibles, so it can take some time to get used to the change.  Compounding the problem is the natural inclination to push on the tab at the bottom of the lockoff to close it.  It turns out that this takes more force than if you push on the tab just a little higher, especially when a belt with any tension is being clamped.  Britax will add a bridge on the plastic to give a better indication of where to push.  Kecia demonstrates below:

What Interests YOU at ABC Kids Expo?

What happens in Vegas?  ABC Kids Expo, that’s what!  Sadly, this trip may be our last one, since it is moving to Louisville next year.  As a farewell sendoff, Heather, Kecia and I will be broadcasting live via satellite from Las Vegas!  Well, blogging live via internet, anyway.  Our schedule is almost already crammed with child safety seat manufacturers the first couple days, but we still have Tuesday afternoon for anyone else out there who wants to talk to us about sponsorships and giveaways!  We’re also adding a team to cover strollers, bags, accessories and other baby gear, since we had so little time to see anything but carseats in years past.  Even so, we were rejected for the first time this year!  A diaper bag and accessory manufacturer contacted me via email, asking for an appointment with us.  When I replied a few hours later to set up the appointment they suggested, they rejected us!  Oh well, plenty of companies out there looking for good, free publicity!

Anyway, our ABC blogs are some of the most popular of the year and for good reason: many manufacturers are introducing and showcasing new products there.  Plus, we get a lot of shwag that we pass along to you in the form of goodie bag giveaways:-)  So, what do you want to see this year?  Maybe a child safety seat that we overlooked?  Some sporty new stroller that hasn’t been shown to the public yet?  Perhaps we can get the scoop on it for you!  We definitely have one new product coming that will surprise a lot of you!  Feel free to leave us a comment on what you would like us to see!

KIM 2010 Updates and News, Part 2

Hey there!  This is Anne (ketchupqueen) again, concluding the news and updates that we were given at the 2010 Kidz In Motion Conference in Ft. Worth, TX.  (You can see Part 1 here.)  Thanks again to Christa (celtic1885) for her help with pictures, fact-checking, and everything else!

Evenflo shared some upcoming updates with us during the manufacturers’ panel.  Evenflo also has 30+ CPSTs on staff, did you know that?  They are in marketing, engineering, quality control, sales, and Parent Link departments.  They did confirm a few things we already knew, but I thought bore repeating in case anyone hasn’t heard- tether extenders are available for all their seats.  LATCH in booster mode is allowed in all of their seats so equipped (3 in 1, combination seats) as long as it does not interfere with proper fit or positioning (for instance, you may not use offset LATCH in booster mode as it would interfere with proper positioning of the belt.)

Evenflo also shared some changes they have made recently or are making.  They are adding color-coding to stickers for greater ease of installation, and as of seats shipping this December, all labels on each seat will have model name and expiration clearly marked, according to Dave Sanders, CPST and engineer who was speaking to us.  All booster weight minimums have now been increased to 40 lbs., and they will not be selling boosters with a weight limit lower than 40 lbs. in the future.  They have updated the fairly-new Maestro so it can be 5 degrees more reclined.  The Embrace handle is being redesigned; the Z-shape will no longer be on the Embrace, it will be shaped like the handle on the Serenade that sits closer to the shell of the seat.  While the “handle down, 1.5 inches clearance” rule does still apply at this time, they are “working on” allowing different handle positions (though I’m not quite holding my breath on that one.)  The weight limit on the Embrace may or may not be increased in the future.