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Kids Archive

Staying Afloat

Most people know me as a child passenger safety advocate, but few know that before I developed my obsession with car seats, my child-safety passion revolved around drowning prevention. With summer fast approaching, the topic is more pertinent than ever.

There are many steps people can–and should–take to prevent drownings. Fences, alarms, pool covers, and, of course, parental supervision. Another layer of protection comes from teaching children how to swim. If your young children don’t already know how to swim, please consider enrolling them in lessons.

This has been a bit of a controversial topic in the past. For a long time the American Academy of Pediatrics advised against swimming lessons for children under age 4. They said there was no proof that swimming lessons for smaller children did any good. They also worried that parents wouldn’t watch their kids as closely if they thought their kids could swim.

The problem is that it’s very difficult to prove a negative. How can we demonstrate that a child didn’t drown because that child had taken swimming lessons, or that they would have died had they not taken lessons?

It’s also true that some parents probably would become complacent and not watch their kids around water because they figure their child is “drown-proof,” but that is where emphasis on parental supervision needs to come in.

Last year the AAP did wind up revising their recommendations to include swimming lessons for children over age 1. They still wouldn’t be thrilled with my having enrolled both of my children in lessons at six months–again because there’s no proof it helps–but they do now believe that toddlers and preschoolers can benefit from learning to swim or learning water survival skills.

I liken swimming lessons to teaching kids how to cross the street. You don’t want a 2-year-old crossing the street alone, but that doesn’t mean you don’t talk to him about it. You tell him not to run into traffic, to cross while holding hands with an adult, and to look both ways. You certainly never expect him to be alone next to a street street, but if he ever is, maybe there’s a chance that he’ll remember your lessons.

The same goes for water. We never expect our children to be near a pool, river, lake, or ocean by themselves, but even the most attentive, careful parents have lapses or miscommunications. If young children find themselves near water, isn’t it better that they have learned about potential dangers? If they wind up in the water, isn’t it better that they have learned skills that might save their lives?

Of course knowing how to swim or get out of a pool is only one aspect of a cohesive system of safeguards. I like the “Safer 3″ approach to pool safety:

  • Safer Water: Install barriers and maintain safety equipment
  • Safer Kids: Have constant adult supervision and teach kids to swim
  • Safer Response: Know CPR and first aid, and have a phone with you at all times

In the coming months, play safe around the water, buckle up, stay hydrated, and try not to get a sunburn. (I have already failed on that last point–hopefully you’ll be luckier.) Most of all, enjoy time with your family and have a fun-filled summer!

Guest Blog: I won the carseat lottery – Evenflo Momentum 65 DLX Review

It was just another sunny day as I scanned one of hundreds of spam email messages I receive weekly.  As I reached for the “d” key (I’m still retro in shell-based pine mailer) I had second thoughts.  Could it be?  I mean, in my 7 years as a carseat technician I had never actually been given anything more than a t-shirt…and yet suddenly I had won the carseat geek lottery?  Naturally, I was skeptical of Evenflo seemingly offering me a free seat just for completing my mandatory CEU units on their website, but I forwarded along my name, address, and phone number to the friendly lady on the other end of the email address–which didn’t end in .ng (Nigeria), I might add. 

The very next day, I received confirmation from Evenflo that my brand new Momentum 65 DLX would soon be en route to my Washington State address.  Now as many of you know, I’m a fickle sort of carseat technician…flirting with British Columbia one day, and Washington the next.  The Momentum 65, at the time not available in Canada, was the cherry on top for this Momentum-virgin Canuck.  Having played with the Momentum’s cousins, the Symphony and the Triumph series, I waited in anticipation for my Momentum.  So what do I think of my prize? 

Guest Blog: A Peg Perusal… The Long Awaited Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible Preview from ABC Kids 2010

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio

For updated info on the Primo Viaggio SIP Convertible - please see our more recent blog from the 2011 ABC Kids Expo: http://carseatblog.com/13395/abc-expo-2011-whats-new-from-peg-perego-primo-viaggio-sip-convertible-viaggio-hbb/

Perhaps one of the longest awaited convertible seat launches in carseat history is the Peg Perego (pause–any guesses here?) Primo Viaggio convertible seat. The market has been anticipating the arrival of a convertible seat from Peg for longer than I would hazard a guess at, and according to the aptly-named Nicolas Perego their newest seats should be hitting the market early next year. Although the convertible carseat market is fiercely competitive right now, it does seem that the PV Sr. should at least hold it’s own in the current marketplace.

I had this opportunity to meet with Mr. Nicolas Perego at the ABC Kids Show in Las Vegas to discuss the company’s newest seat. What became immediately clear was that the show displays were prototypes, and many of the details of the seat are not yet set in stone with the company. Many of the details Mr. Perego was able to provide on the seat are still tentative as the product is still in the development stage.

Primo Viaggio

Primo Viaggio

Here’s the skinny on the stats–skinny, indeed; The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Sr. is expected to have a 65lb forward-facing weight limit, with a current estimate of the rear-facing weight limit being 30lbs but “maybe 35-40lbs”. The occupant total height estimate is 49″, and because I was seriously lacking a tape measure at ABC (as if I didn’t already feel like a pack mule?) I didn’t get to measure the top harness height on the prototype. The overall height looked very similar to a Britax convertible, as would be expected with that 49″ number. Rear-facing tethering seems to be on Peg’s radar, but there’s no confirmation either way by the company. Nicolas did confirm a 22lb forward-facing starting weight, but that remains to be seen when Sr. hits the market… And when might that be?

Prototype - Lockoff

Prototype - Lockoff

According to Mr. Perego–initial production may begin in Italy, and then later be moved to their United States production facility. Initial production is expected this Winter (Dec-Jan) and there is some possibility that Sr. will hit the Canadian market shortly after hitting shelves in the United States.
As the Italians say…Non lo so! Peg really doesn’t seem to have much of anything set in stone, but we hope they will look to Carseatblog.com for a comprehensive review when the first production seats come off the line!

Pereghi?

Pereghi?

Aww, who couldn’t love the adorable folks at Peg Perego? They were wonderful hosts at ABC, and after looking at the Primo Viaggio Sr., I moved on to explore my other obsession… ;)

Guest Blog: The ABCs of ABC Kids. ++Giveaways!

The sea of exhibits and exhibitors in the Las Vegas Convention Center this past few days for the 2010 ABC Kids show might have been overwhelming at first, but I found my inner child and began at the beginning…of the alphabet. This is the A-to-Z of ABC.

Guest review: Maxi Cosi Rodi XR

My impressions:
The Maxi Cosi Rodi XR is very sturdy seat with nice deep headwings. The cup holder is excellent, one of the best designs I’ve seen, it’s easy to install and remove and the design makes it very stable – thus far we’ve had NO spilled drinks, and most cups & water bottles fit. The seat is easy to assemble, and has a built-in recline to help the seat fit better on various different vehicle seats. The height adjustment is a bit tricky, but not difficult.
The illustrations in the manual are excellent, and the explanations of vehicle seats and seat belts are really well done. The manual can be found here: http://www.maxicosi/.us/media/producthandleidingen/maxicosi/4358-4583.pdf
The seatbelt fit on my 55 lb, 6 .5 year old was pretty good, with the lap belt low on her hips. I tried her 48-lb best friend in it, and it fit him well too. They both said it is a comfortable seat, and Joy has no slumping issues when sleeping in it, although a smaller child might.
My major disappointment with the seat: belt guides are VERY narrow, and in my Suburban the belt tends to get pulled out and not retract, leaving a great deal of slack in the belt. If the seatbelt telemetry isn’t just so, a child who is inclined to move around could easily end up with the shoulder belt two feet from their chest. Because of this, I would only be comfortable recommending this seat to someone VERY CPS-conscious.
Additionally, the seat requires the vehicle seat back or head rest to be above the midpoint of the child’s head. For many families, this means the seat is incompatible with their vehicles. The seat does feel more sturdy than many boosters without this requirement, and it doesn’t fall apart when moved or tip when going around tight turns.
Overall, I really want to love this seat, but because of the small belt guides and the head support requirement, I can’t. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.  A few comparison photos of Joy in the Rodi, the Recaro Vivo and the Britax parkway (old style) can be found HERE.

Skaterbabscpst is a long time moderator at our Car-Seat.Org forums and has her own CPS website.  You can find our original review of the Rodi XR here.  You can also find the basic Maxi Cosi Rodi for sale.  It lacks a few features of the XR, but can be found for under $100.