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

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!

 

Travel Carseats: The Ultimate Guide to What You Want to Take on A Plane

Flying with Children

Airplane -rf CCOIt’s a lucky parent who hasn’t had to travel by plane with a young child. Some minimalist parents have it down, but the rest of us use up every last cubic inch of space we’re allotted, stuffing it with things we might possibly need like hair ties, mismatched infant socks, carabiners, and Ziploc bags that get thrown out eventually. Think back to your last trip on a plane alone when there was a small child—what was that child doing? Standing on the parent’s lap screaming? Waving at uncomfortable adults who waved once but then wanted to disengage from the outgoing child? Were you trying to eke out that last bit of nap before descent when that screech jolted you out of slumberland? Did that parent look happy or like she was going to cry herself?

happy flyerKids have that natural tendency to want to move and explore their environments when they’re in their parents’ arms. Parents naturally provide a safe place for a child . . . everywhere except in a moving vehicle, which is what an airplane is. Most of us who have traveled with children and carseats can attest that our kids have been better behaved in their carseats and have found their carseats to be safe pods for them. When was the last time *you* were comfortable in an airplane seat, after all? Kids in harnessed carseats are protected against turbulence and against runway incidents, such as aborted takeoffs and landings, and overshots. And think about it: coffee pots and Coke cans are required to be secured during flight. Don’t our kids deserve the same respect?

04-13-15 incident

Can I take any harnessed carseat on the plane?

Maybe. It must have a sticker on it that says the carseat is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft. That part will be written in red ink so it’s easy to find. Your owner’s manual will also have this wording. Be prepared to show the sticker to a gate agent and/or flight attendant because they may ask to see it as you board the plane.

Pria 85 - FAA certification

Can I use a booster seat on the plane?

Let’s get our terminology down first. A booster seat is a belt-positioning booster used by older kids. It’s used only with a lap/shoulder vehicle seat belt. Since a commercial airplane doesn’t have a lap/shoulder seat belt, no, you cannot use a booster seat on the plane. A harnessed seat isn’t called a booster seat. If your seat has a harness that also can be used as a booster later on, we call that a “combination seat.” Most combination seats are approved for use on airplanes only when used with the harness; that’s because you can install it with the plane’s seat belt. You can, however, take your booster seat on the plane with you as carry-on luggage for your child to use in the car when you get to your destination. If you have a backless booster, it fits perfectly under the seat in front or in the overhead bin. If you have a folding booster, it fits in the overhead bin. If you have a booster where the back comes off, you can pack the back in your suitcase and carry the bottom on with you.

What are my rights regarding carseat use onboard an airplane?

We have an article that explains what you need to know. Also, know where the certification sticker is on your carseat and bring a healthy dose of patience. Between oddly intimate security searches, our knees being jammed into the seats in front of us, and man spread by guys in the center seat, flying saps the last bit of patience of everyone. Flight attendants receive very little to no training on carseats on aircraft, so the best tactic is one of “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” If there’s confusion, it’s OK to show them the carseat owner’s manual and smile. Remember that they can (and have in the past) remove ticketed passengers from flights.

How far should I push the rear-facing issue?

If you’ve been online at all, you’ve heard of travelers who have had problems rear-facing their kiddos: the flight attendant misinterpreted the flight attendant handbook, which requires carseats to be installed on forward-facing passenger seats, and they had to turn their 3 mo. old forward-facing. At some point you pick your battle with the flight attendant (with a smile–remember, he or she is just doing their job) and the likelihood that something catastrophic will happen is slim. Turning an 18 mo old forward-facing on a plane probably isn’t going to end the world. If you’re still unsure, I suppose you could whip this regulatory requirement out.

What are the best travel carseats?

Update on Britax Marathon, Boulevard & Advocate ClickTight Convertible Harness Attachment Issues

Britax ClickTight convertiblesBack in November, Consumer Reports published an article detailing safety concerns over the new Britax Boulevard ClickTight and Marathon ClickTight convertible seats. The Advocate ClickTight convertible model is also potentially affected.

We covered that story in depth here:

Consumer Reports on Potential Britax ClickTight Boulevard & Marathon Convertible Carseat Safety Issues

 

We want to emphasize that this only applies to the new “ClickTight” convertible models. All other Britax convertibles, such as the “G3″ or “G4″ models, are NOT affected. Frontier 90 ClickTight and Pinnacle 90 ClickTight Harness-2-Booster seats are also NOT affected. 

Today Consumer Reports shared an update on that issue:  http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/11/two-britax-car-seats-could-pose-safety-risk/index.htm?loginMethod=auto

3/31/15 update: Responding to a follow-up inquiry, Britax informed us that it they had shared test data and information with NHTSA and “confirmed the performance” of ClickTight seats. The company also shared that the problem we noted—that the restraint harness was not securely attached to the hooks on the lower harness anchors—was “an initial assembly issue” affecting all Marathon ClickTight, Boulevard ClickTight and Advocate ClickTight seats manufactured between August 15, 2014 and November 7, 2014.

Marathon CT DOM labelAction Required: Owners of all Britax ClickTight convertible carseats (Marathon CT, Boulevard CT & Advocate CT) manufactured between between August 15, 2014 and November 7, 2014 need to check their seats and make corrections, if necessary. The sticker label with the date of manufacture can be found by peeling back the cover on top of the CT compartment.

If the harness straps are properly secured to the anchors they should NOT be able to loosen or work themselves free all on their own. Please note that the straps come from the factory set in the smaller harness length setting for children under age 2. For kids over age 2 you must detach the hip straps from the anchors and re-attach them without looping them under the bar. Britax has instructions that clearly demonstrate the correct way to secure the hip straps onto the anchor in both the longer and shorter harness settings here: http://www.britaxusa.com/uploads/products/additional-resources/43.pdf

 

Britax CT Infographic - with DOM

 

FYI – owners of newer CT convertible models will notice that the metal anchors have been slightly bent in at the opening which makes it harder to get the straps on and off.

Britax CT hip anchor - bent

Please share this info with your friends and family so we get the word out to as many Britax CT convertible owners as possible. It only takes a minute to check the harness straps and fix them if they are loose or detached. In this case the only thing we need to keep children safe is information on what to look for and how to fix it!

2015 Recommended Child Restraints for CPS Programs & Updated List of Where Carseats Are Made

Behold our updated list of Recommended Child Restraints for CPS Programs! Several popular options have been discontinued and a few new ones have been added so it was time to refresh the list. We hope to see more production moved to U.S. facilities since several ideal program seats on the list are out of reach for many injury-prevention programs because they are currently made abroad.

Speaking of where carseats are made, we also took this opportunity to update our County of Origin – Where Carseats Are Made blog. We added all the new models that have hit the market in the last 12 months. I’m happy to report that consumers now have more options for carseats and boosters made in the USA and hopefully that list will continue to grow in the future!

Made in the USA

Lockoffs – What You Need to Know & Which Carseats Have Them

Graco Argos 80 Elite - installed with seatbelt using lockoff

CarseatBlog’s Carseat Lockoff Guide

As LATCH weight limits shrink due to new federal standards, more and more carseats require using the seatbelt once the child exceeds a certain weight. The problem with seatbelt installations is that most parents have no idea how to lock the seatbelts in their vehicle in order to properly install a carseat or infant seat base. Ask the average parent or caregiver what a switchable retractor is and you’ll probably get a very confused look in response. A what?? This is why every car seat in North America should come with a built-in lockoff! If you are installing with a seatbelt instead of lower LATCH anchors and your carseat has a lockoff device – use it and you will never have to worry about understanding pre-crash locking features on vehicle restraint systems.

Function of built-in lockoff device: A lockoff device can serve more than one function but its main purpose is to cinch or clamp the seatbelt in such a way that it cannot loosen and your tight carseat installation stays tight!  

Current list of carseats that feature lockoff(s)

Rear-Facing Infant Seats
Britax B-Safe (aka BOB B-Safe)
Britax B-Safe 35 & B-Safe 35 Elite
Britax Chaperone (discontinued)
Chicco KeyFit & KeyFit 30
Combi Shuttle
GB Asana 35 & Asana 35 AP
Graco SnugRide 35 Classic Connect
Graco SnugRide 35 LX Click Connect
Graco SnugRide 40 Click Connect
Nuna Pipa
Orbit Baby G3 Infant
Peg-Perego Viaggio 4-35
Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air & onBoard 35 Air+
The First Years Contigo (discontinued)
UPPAbaby Mesa
Urbini Petal (and clones)
Convertible Seats
Britax  Advocate; Boulevard; Marathon; Pavilion; Roundabout (excluding "Classic" model)
Britax ClickTight convertibles (all models)
Chicco NextFit
Clek Foonf
Clek Fllo
Combi Coccoro
Graco Smart Seat
Orbit Baby Toddler
Recaro All convertible models (forward-facing lockoff only)
The First Years True Fit (discontinued)
Forward-Facing Combination Seats
Britax Frontier 90
Britax Pinnacle 90
Graco Nautilus Elite
Graco Argos 80 Elite
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Lockoffs on Infant Seat Bases

There are different types of lockoffs that require different routing so make sure you are following the directions that came with your carseat. Never assume anything. Below we discuss the two most common types of lockoff systems.