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Safety Archive

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.

The Scoop on the IIHS Booster Seat Tests: From “Best Bet” to “Not Recommended”

Recaro Young Sport - BPB 4Today the IIHS released the results of its second round of booster seat fit tests.  They tested 60 seats and grouped the results into 4 performance categories – Best Bets, Good Bets, (Questionable or Inconsistent) and Not Recommended.   All the tests were conducted using the 6-year-old Hybrid III dummy which weighs 51.6 lbs, has an overall height of almost 45″ tall, and a seated height of 25″.  These results evaluate belt fit – not crash protection.  In each case, the boosters were given a total of 8 scores – 4 for lap belt fit and 4 for shoulder belt fit.  The 4 conditions span the range of seatbelt configurations in different vehicles.  The overall rating that each booster received was based on the range of scores for each measurement.

The Today Show ran a segment this morning on the results of this testing and they even interviewed our very own Darren Qunell!  High-fives going out to the Qunell kids for being such great booster models!     http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/34521238#34521238

This second round of tests cannot be directly compared with the 1st round of test results from the IIHS because the engineers have modified the test device and protocol.  These changes will supposedly make it easier for manufacturers to reliably reproduce the results.  This probably explains why the Combi Kobuk highback model dropped from a “Good Bet” in the 1st round of testing to a “Not Recommended” in this second round.  It is worth mentioning that the Kobuk when used without the back portion (as a backless booster) was rated a “Best Bet” in both the 1st and 2nd rounds of IIHS testing.  Unfortunately, The Kobuk is not currently available in just a backless version so consumers would have no choice but to buy the full highback version if they wanted this “Best Bet” pick.