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Goodbye 1 and 20 (don’t let the door hit you on the way out): Kids safest in rear-facing car seats until age 2!

Children should ride in rear-facing car seats until they are at least 2 years old instead of 1, according to updated advice from The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Can I get an “Amen”?   Or at least a collective “Woohoo”!

Trying to find more details.  We’ll post again as soon as we have more info!

March 20, 9:50p
And now, here’s NHTSA’s press release.

Here’s an excellent article from MedPage TODAY.

Guest Blog: CPSC Database- Fabulous or Flawed?

Say you’re in the market for a new stove or a new pogo stick (and hey, who isn’t?).

Wouldn’t it be nice to know if the stove you’re considering has been reported to spontaneously combust? Wouldn’t it be nice to know that several people have had the pogo stick fall apart mid-jump?

Next spring, you’ll be able to glean more information about problems fellow consumers have had with all sorts of products, thanks to a decision by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to publish incident reports in a public database. You won’t need a user ID or password, and if you make a complaint, there’s no need to worry: No personal information will be shared with the public.

In a way, this is great news for consumers. Until now, the CPSC couldn’t release information about potentially dangerous products without permission from the manufacturer. People could ask to view complaints the agency had received, but that involved filing a request under the Freedom of Information Act, which is not something people typically do when researching their next mattress purchase. This new database will make information much more accessible and transparent.

I do see some potential downsides, though.

Flying with a Car Seat? Know Your Rights!

When my son was 8 months old we flew from California to Chicago to visit relatives. Although I was not yet a Child Passenger Safety Technician, I understood the importance of using car seats, even on airplanes. So, as a diligent mother, I purchased him a ticket and installed his Britax Wizard rear-facing.

On three of our four flights, we had no problems. On the last one, though, the flight attendant insisted that I turn my son’s seat forward-facing because the passenger in front of him wouldn’t be able to recline. I knew the car seat should stay rear-facing, but with no proof and a plane full of anxious passengers, I acquiesced rather than put up a fight.

If only I had known about the Federal Aviation Administration’s Advisory Circular regarding Use of Child Restraint Systems on Aircraft, things might have been different.

The Advisory Circular, which was just updated a few weeks ago, details the FAA’s policies regarding child restraints on planes, and anyone traveling by aircraft with a child in a car seat would be wise to print out a copy and take it onboard. (Please note that the FAA regulations apply to U.S.-based carriers operating inside or outside of the United States. If you’re flying a foreign airline these guidelines won’t necessarily apply.)

To make things easy for you, the traveling parent, I am going to tell you exactly where to find the pertinent information so you can print out the Circular (like above) and highlight what you might need.

Evenflo Maestro Recall – What happened and what you need to know

On Friday, October 15, 2010, Evenflo announced a voluntary recall of certain Evenflo Maestro combination harness/booster seats sold in the US and in Canada.  The recall pertains to all models that were manufactured between 11/24/2009 (inception) and 4/9/2010 in the US.  If you have a Canadian Maestro model – the recall period is 12/17/2009 thru 4/26/2010.  Any models made after the recall period are not affected by this particular problem and we should consider those units safe to use unless we receive information to the contrary.

Before I go into any further details, I just want to take this opportunity to point out the necessity of registering your child restraint products – either by mailing in the completed registration card that came with the seat or by registering it online through the manufacturer’s website.  If you don’t register your carseat or booster, or if you forget to update the registration address when you move, there’s a good chance you could be left in the dark if there’s ever a recall.