Resources Archive

Proper Installation of Convertible Carseat on an Ambulance Cot

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Convertible install ambulance cotSometimes, it’s the upside of a slow carseat check event – the opportunity to “play” with something new. On this particular warm, sunny, spring day – parents were obviously busy doing something other than coming to our well-publicized check event. That left us techs with a little free time. At one point, some of the volunteers from the local ambulance corp showed up and the conversation quickly turned to transport of non-critical pediatric patients in ambulances. I think I shocked a few of the techs when I admitted that I had never actually installed a carseat on an ambulance cot (What? Something involving carseats that Kecia has never done??? Alert the presses! Lol.) Yes, I understand how it’s supposed to be done. I’ve read the research papers and I’ve seen several presentations on the subject at various conferences over the years but I had never actually done it myself. Well, wouldn’t you know it – a short time later, an ambulance pulls up. Yes, boys and girls – it’s play time! 😀

It was actually a fairly simple install on this nice, new Stryker cot with this particular convertible (Cosco Scenera). For the record, the only type of conventional carseat that should be installed on an ambulance stretcher/cot is a convertible seat. You need to be able to secure the carseat on the cot using two different beltpaths and this is only possible if the carseat has separate beltpaths for the rear-facing and forward-facing positions – which convertible seats have. Obviously, this setup is only going to work if the child actually fits in the convertible (and that will vary depending on the specific convertible model being used) and if the child can tolerate being transported in the semi-upright position.

First they showed me how to raise the head of the cot until we had it flush against the back of the reclined Scenera. Then we routed the straps nearest the rear-facing beltpath thru that beltpath and routed the straps nearest the forward-facing beltpath thru that beltpath. We tightened everything up and Voila! Next, one of our local CPS techs strapped in our “non-critical pediatric patient” for good measure. Finally, the guys from the ambulance corps showed me how to load this particular stretcher into the ambulance and secure it.  I have to say, I was really impressed with this particular Stryker Powered Ambulance Cot. The hydraulic system was sweeeeet!

     

On this particular day, this exercise was all about learning something new in a relaxed and friendly environment. However, in reality, pediatric transport in an ambulance can range from “as safe as possible under difficult circumstances” to “downright scary for no good reason”. Why does it vary so much? Because currently there are no federal guidelines for pediatric transport in an ambulance. Therefore, EMS services are free to transport patients in any way they deem appropriate. Personally, I wouldn’t allow my children to be transported to the hospital in an ambulance unless they really needed to be attended to by a medic on the way there. Unconscious and not breathing? Massive head trauma? Aortic Rupture? Get my child into the ambulance fast and I’m not going to care or worry about how he’s restrained. Broken foot? Get in the car and I’m driving you to the hospital myself.

For more information on the subject see “Crash Protection for Children in Ambulances”: http://www.carseat.org/Resources/Bull_Ambulance.pdf

Clek Fllo & Graco Contender Added to our Ultimate Rear-Facing Convertible Carseat Space Comparison!

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Our Ultimate Rear-Facing Convertible Carseat Space Comparison is one of our most popular reference articles and I’m pleased to report that we’ve updated it again to include space grades and data for the Clek Fllo and Graco Contender. All in all, there are now over 30 higher-weight convertible seats that have been evaluated and graded in our comparison!

Clek Fllo with ARB - RF space comparison Graco Contender - RF space comparison 2

As we pointed out in the original article – there are so many variables that go into every carseat/vehicle compatibility scenario that it’s impossible to accurately predict which seat is going to take up the least amount of room rear-facing in *your* vehicle. The complexity of the situation is amplified by the plethora of options and features available on various convertibles. Still, it was our intention here at CarseatBlog to put together a comprehensive comparison that would serve as a resource for parents and caregivers searching for an extended-use convertible that would keep their rear-facing toddler or older child safe and comfortable without sacrificing the safety and comfort of the driver and/or front seat passenger.

See all the data and ratings here:

http://carseatblog.com/22818/the-ultimate-rear-facing-convertible-space-comparison-review-size-matters/

New Jersey Updates Child Restraint Laws – Increases Minimum Age For Forward-Facing

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On May 7, 2015, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a bill into law that amended NJ’s child restraint law. This new law takes effect on September 1, 2015.

We know that legal jargon is very confusing so here is the updated New Jersey carseat and booster seat law in plain English:

Children under the age of 8 (through age 7) are legally required to ride in the back seat* as follows:

  • Under age 2 (0-23 months) and weighing less than 30 pounds are required to use a rear-facing carseat with a 5-point harness. This means a convertible used in the rear-facing position or an infant seat. (Note: Most babies will outgrow an infant carrier before their 2nd birthday and will need to transition to a convertible seat used in the rear-facing position. Unless you start off with a convertible seat from birth and then there is no need to transition to a bigger rear-facing seat.)

Graco SnugRide 40  Evenflo Triumph ProComfort - RF Toddler

  •  Age 2 through age 3 (24-47 months) secured in a carseat with 5-point harness either rear-facing (until reaching the weight or height limit) or forward-facing. Having a 3-year-old in just a booster seat is not legal unless they weigh more than 40 lbs.

Diono-Rainier-Clara  Nautilus2

  • Age 4 through age 7 (48 months until 8th birthday) and less than 57 inches tall (4’9″) secured in a forward-facing carseat with 5-point harness or a booster seat. There is no weight requirement in this updated law – only age and height requirements. (Note: If you have an older child who weighs more than 80 lbs. and you’re having a hard time finding a booster seat that they actually still fit in – consider a Safety 1st Incognito Kid Positioner. It’s specifically designed for bigger, older kids.)

Evenflo SK Platinum - harness Jon Turtle Booster Evenflo Amp

  • Age 8 through 17 shall wear a properly adjusted and fastened seat belt

Passing the 5 Step Test

Exemptions:

* If there are no rear seats (e.g., standard cab pickup truck), the child shall be secured in a carseat or booster in the front passenger seat except that no child shall be secured in a rear-facing carseat in the front seat of any motor vehicle which is equipped with a passenger-side airbag that is not disabled or turned off.

Full text of the new law can be found here: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2014/Bills/A3500/3161_R1.PDF

Evenflo Extends Expiration Date on Transitions & Evolve Combination Seats to 8 Years

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Evenflo Transitions - MercuryWe wanted to share this recent news update from Evenflo with our readers. Evenflo has extended the lifespan on their ADVANCED Transitions & Evolve Platinum Combination Seats to 8 years from the DOM (Date of Manufacture).

This change is retroactive so if you currently own a Transitions or Evolve seat and the DOM label states that it expires in the year 2021 – please make a note in your instruction manual that you can actually use your seat until 2023-xx-xx.

Evenflo Transitions - DOM sticker labeled

Evenflo has recently updated the expiration date for both Evenflo Transitions and Evenflo Evolve 3-in-1 combination seats. Initial production included labels with a 6-year expiration from date of manufacture, but due to the extended use of this seat, new labels will include an 8-year expiration from date of manufacture. Accordingly, your child’s Transitions or Evolve may be safely used for 8 years from the date of manufacture.

If you have any other questions, please contact ParentLink at 1-800-233-5921 (U.S.) or 1-937-773-3971 (Canada), MondayFriday, 8 am – 5 pm (EST). You can also contact us online at:  http://evenflo.com/Support/Contact_Us/.

Stay tuned for a full review of the Evenflo Transitions coming soon!