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Safety Archive

Infant Seat Handle Positions

A common question parents often have when using infant seats is “where should the handle go—up or down?”  It’s not that simple anymore, actually.  On some seats, the handle must be up.  On some, the handle must be down.  On one, the handle is recommended to be placed all the way forward, toward the baby’s feet!  And I guarantee you that in every vehicle but one I’ve seen with an Evenflo infant seat, the handle has been in the incorrect up position.  So, instead of playing “Guess the Handle Position” with your infant seat handles, let’s get some help.

We’re big supporters of SafetyBeltSafe USA here at the blog.  They work tirelessly in pursuit of child passenger safety and have for years, trying to push legislation and forward thinking.  SBS USA is the nonprofit organization that produces the manufacturers’ instructions CD that every technician should have and the color pictorial that helps us identify those pesky CL carseats that leave us scratching our heads.  SBS USA has gone and done it again: they’ve created a document listing all infant seats and their handle positions.  After you’ve checked out the handle positions document, take a look at all the other documents they have for free on their website: www.carseat.org/Resources/Repro_Mat_Lst.htm .  And I know that this blog post didn’t start out this way, but if you have a couple bucks left over in your PayPal account, you might want to thank SBS USA for their generous help and dedication to all of us.

Proper Installation of Convertible Carseat on an Ambulance Cot

Sometimes, 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 the well-publicized check event.  That left us techs with a little free time.  At one point, some of the fabulous volunteers from the local ambulance corp showed up and the conversation quickly turned to transport of pediatric patients in ambulances.  I think I shocked a few of the local 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 CPS 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!  :D

Why Rear-Facing Is Better: Your RF Link Guide

Here’s a list of concrete reasons why we recommend rear-facing past age 1 and 20 lbs.  That old recommendation that many pediatricians still hold onto stresses the bare minimums of when to turn a child forward-facing.  Who wants the minimum for their child?  It’s best practice to rear-face to the limits of the child’s convertible carseat: check the label for the rear-facing weight limit and make sure there’s at least 1″ of carseat above the top of his head.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recommended since 2002 that after age 1 and 20 lbs., children should ride in a rear-facing convertible seat until reaching the weight limit of that carseat. They’ve just amended that policy (3/2011) to recommend rear-facing to age 2 or until they reach the “highest weight or height allowed” by that convertible carseat.  (http://www.medpagetoday.com/Pediatrics/GeneralPediatrics/25435)

Child ID Labels for Car Seats

WHALE logoIn the July 2008 edition of SafetyBeltSafe News, there was an article about a woman in Oklahoma who wants all car seats to have occupant identification labels on them.  I think this is a great idea!  I’ve had make your own labels on my web site since before it became CarSeatSite.com–it just seems obvious to me that you’d want something on the seat identifying your child if you are incapacitated.