News Archive

Sunset clause on lockabilit​y standard is history!

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Translation: All seatbelts in new vehicles will continue to have some way to lock pre-crash (in order to keep a child restraint securely in place), even after September 2012.

Now this might seem like trivial news to those who don’t spend their lives “doing their best work in the backseat,” but I assure you that it is VERY big news for anyone who has a kid in a carseat. You see, for reasons we don’t fully understand, NHTSA was going to allow vehicle manufacturers to go back to seatbelts without pre-crash locking features after September 2012 if the seating position had LATCH anchors. This was referred to as the “sunsetting” of the lockability standard of 1996.  Had it happened, it would have meant no more switchable retractors, no more locking latchplates and a lot more locking clips for parents who didn’t want to, or couldn’t, use LATCH.  And of course, more misuse of child restraints installed with seatbelts as a result.

Fortunately, after many years of lobbying by groups such as Safety Belt Safe USA and Safe Ride News, NHTSA has announced a final ruling on the matter. The verdict is… the lockability standard will continue!  Whew!  Kudos to all the advocates who dedicated significant time and effort during the last 5 or 6 years to ensure this outcome. You know who you are, and we all owe you BIG TIME!!!

Link to the federal register which includes this final ruling announcement.

The Great Babies R Us Trade-In Event

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Babies R Us is doing their trade-in event again: turn in old baby gear, including carseats, and you’ll get a 25% off coupon to use in the store that day. It’s a great time to get rid of expired or crashed carseats, or recalled baby items. Items accepted include any used cribs, car seats, bassinets, strollers, travel systems, play yards, high chairs, kids’ beds, swings, walkers, bouncers and entertainers. If you have more than one item to turn in, I suggest going on separate days to turn in the items to take advantage of the coupon.

The event begins Friday, August 26, and runs through Sunday, September 18. There’s a bit more information here: www.toysrusinc.com/press-room/releases/general/2011/toysrus-inc.-helps-parents-keep-kids-safe-with-great-trade-in-event.

So, tell us–what carseat will you be trading in? Or, if you’re using the coupon, what carseat will you be buying? Is there a great story behind the carseat?

Sunshine Kids Becomes Diono: Same Company, New Name for the Radian and Monterey Manufacturer

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Starting Thursday, September 1, 2011, Sunshine Kids will officially change its name in the U.S. and Canada to Diono. We first brought it to you on our Facebook page when it was announced at the KIM Conference.

Let’s start with the obvious: Diono is pronounced “Dee-oh-no.” They will be coming out with new carseats as well: the Radian RXT, which is a combination seat based on the Radian XTSL, the Radian R100, which is the RXT without adjustable head wings and is based on the Radian 65SL, and the Radian R120, which is based on the Radian 80SL. The Radian R100 will harness rear-facing from 5-40 lbs., forward-facing from 20-65 lbs. and booster from 50-120 lbs. The R120 and RXT will both harness rear-facing from 5-45 lbs., forward-facing from 20-80 lbs. and booster from 50-120 lbs.

The new Diono website will be www.diono.com. There’s nothing there right now but the logo, but it’ll be up and running soon.

We’ll have a review of the RXT for you coming soon! In the meantime, you can participate in the on-going thread at car-seat.org or leave your comments here. We *love* comments! We also feel the “like” at Facebook ;).

A True Hero.

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We have heroes.  Scientists and doctors make life-saving discoveries.  Perhaps they are rewarded with a Nobel Prize or a research grant.  Soldiers go beyond the call of duty to save civilians or other soldiers.  They may be honored with a service medal.  Professional athletes reach a historic milestone or set a record.  They get a bonus or go into the hall of fame or record books.  Even child passenger safety advocates, who save the lives of children every day, can be honored for their efforts at a national, state or local conference.

For some heroes, their moment of fame may be limited to publicity.  One, Antonio Diaz Chacon, struck me as a true hero that stands among the best of any of those I’ve mentioned.  This, according to the Associated Press writer, Jeri Clausing.

Phillip Garcia, 29, had snatched the girl moments earlier on Monday afternoon in Albuquerque, taking her away in a blue van, police said.

Diaz’s husband, Antonio Diaz Chacon, jumped in his black pickup and gave chase. Garcia tried to lose him by driving through a maze of residential streets, “turning, and turning,” Diaz Chacon, a 24-year-old mechanic said Tuesday night as a swarm of media stood outside his home to hear his story. The events were interpreted and relayed from Spanish to English by his wife.

Finally, Diaz Chacon said, the man crashed into a telephone pole.

Garcia fled on foot, and Diaz Chacon grabbed the girl and took her home. Garcia then returned to his wrecked van and took off but was later captured by police, authorities said.

Thank you, Mr. Chacon, for preventing a tragedy, one that is every parent’s worst nightmare.  You deserve your moment of fame!