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Kids Archive

Where do they grow these kids?

Booster until age 8 stickerWe’ve all seen it before. I’m talking about the information in pamphlets and flyers regarding kids and booster seats. Most read like this: Kids should remain in booster seats until they are at least 8 years old, unless they are 4’9″ tall.

Excuse me? I don’t know where this age 8 came from but where I live we don’t see too many kids who are almost 5 feet tall at 8 years or younger. I’m sure they’re out there but seriously, most 2nd and 3rd Graders are NOT the size of small adults. So what gives?

Honestly, I have no idea why it’s so common to see age 8 listed as the magic number when kids can graduate to the adult seatbelt. Yes, I realize that it often says “at least 8″ but trust me when I say that it’s not the “at least” part that most parents remember. Most don’t even remember the 4’9″ part of the message. So where does that magic #8 come from? They sure aren’t referencing the CDC growth charts!

Maybe it’s a social change thing. We’re still getting a lot of parents used to the idea that their 6 and 7 year olds need a booster. Perhaps we’re worried that we’ll turn them off completely and they’ll think we’re all nuts if we tell them the truth. And age 8 seems like a reasonable number for most parents to ditch the booster seat, right?

Wrong.

Most 8 year old kids do not fit safely in the adult seatbelt of most vehicles. Sure, there are always exceptions, like some 3rd row seats which are clearly designed with smaller people in mind. But generally speaking, most kids do not actually pass the 5-Step Test until they are at least 57″ (4’9″ tall). For many kids even 57″ tall isn’t tall enough to get optimal belt fit.

Now, let’s have a look at those handy-dandy CDC growth charts. An 8 year old boy who measures in the 95th percentile for both weight and height is 35kg (77 lbs) and 54″ tall.  And an 8 year old boy who measures in the 50th percentile for weight and height is 25kg (55 lbs) and 50″ tall. According to the growth charts – a boy who measures in the 95th percentile for height won’t hit 4’9″ (57″) until he is 9 years old. That kid in the 50th percentile won’t get there until he’s 11. And a kid in the 10th percentile for height will be 13 before they reach 4’9″.

So I’d like to know where they grow these huge 8 year olds that everyone seems to be talking about? Our dearly departed mascot, Marvin, would have said it sounds a little fishy.

Carseat recommendations

Take pity on me because Marvin is a tough act to follow ;)  Seriously,  that’s one  smart little fella and that link he posted was just priceless. 

Anyhow, the previous blog post “Who’s better?  Who’s best?” got me thinking about the practice of recommending carseats.  The current standardized Child Passenger Safety training curriculum, as well as the previous curriculum, strongly discourages CPS Technicians from recommending specific seats.  The curriculum tells us that it’s okay to recommend specific features (like a 5-pt harnesses, front harness adjuster, etc.) but that we should not recommend specific brands and seats.  So why is it so common to see CPS technicians and even instructors (both online and IRL) recommending specific seats to parents and caregivers?  Let’s examine the issue a little closer…

The Car Seat Afterlife

It\'s a garbage can.So, what do you do with a car seat or booster you no longer need?  That’s a big question that lots of folks ask themselves every day and usually the answer is to stick the seat next to the trash can on the curb.  The problem with that fix is that there are other folks who like to look for a bargain, either out of necessity or just to say they found something great (and who hasn’t driven by someone else’s garbage and seen something in mint condition and thought, “Oh, look at that!  If I just had a truck, I would take that home!”).  Car seats are thrown away for a variety of reasons: they’ve been in a crash and shouldn’t be used again, they’ve expired, or perhaps mom found the cutest cover ever and just wanted to get that sickly brown car seat out of her garage ;).

Acronyms Strike Again

Again we welcome Heather’s dh, Matt, for Guest Wednesday.

As a non-tech person, I am generally confused by the various terminology used on a regular basis by those who are tech people.  But I am trying to learn.  One of these terms is LATCH, which must be really important because it’s in all caps.  I understand the importance of words in all caps. Like me sitting on the couch on the weekend and watching the NFL or the NBA or why don’t the kids go play in the STREET but watch out for CARS and while you’re at it go get the MAIL.

Recalls – the good, the bad and the ridiculous

Recall – the mere words strike fear into the hearts and minds of safety-conscious parents everywhere.  After all, no one wants to hear that there is a potential problem with their carseat – a product that they’ve entrusted to protect their child’s life.  But for child restraint manufacturers, recalls are more than just product issues.  Recalls are usually costly and chock full of bad publicity.  In short, recalls are bad for business.

But recalls are also a part of the business and almost every manufacturer has to face a recall issue sooner or later.  Truthfully, not all recalls are for serious, life-threatening problems although some clearly are.