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Safety Archive

A Bit about RVs

The dreaded day came.  The day dh said that he wanted to take the kids camping.  This brought dread to me for a couple of reasons: first, I’m not a camper.  I’ve been camping before, even RVing, and yeah, it’s fun for the first day until the mosquitoes start biting and you try to sleep through the cacophony of bugs buzzing and wild animals rooting around your campground.  And let’s not forget the sun rising at 4a.  Second, dh wanted to rend an RV.  Whoa!  Deep breath.  RVs are fun and provide a great home away from home when camping and traveling, but when you’re actually on the road, are they really safe for kids?

Maybe the Graco My Ride 65 Could Be *My* Ride? A Review.

The latest trend in child restraints is higher rear-facing weight limits.  We’ve been seeing 35 lbs. rear-facing weight limits, but now we have a standout.  Graco has introduced a new seat called the My Ride 65 that breaks the 35 lbs. barrier and accommodates a rear-facing child to 40 lbs.!  This is a convertible (rear-facing and forward-facing) child restraint for kids 5-65 lbs. who are less than 49″ tall.  Rear-facing the seat is rated from 5-40 lbs.  Forward-facing, it can be used for children over 1 year old who weigh between 20-65 lbs.

The My Ride 65 comes with an infant body support cushion, a head support pillow, and harness strap covers.

Combi Dakota Review

Friends of mine in the CPS world have sung the praises of the Combi Dakota backless booster for years now. I recommended it right along with them, usually for older, larger children, but never truly understood the magic of this seat. What could be so great about plastic and cloth that I should NEED to add it to my already-vast booster collection?

But finally I broke down and got one and my 9 year old sat right down in it and proclaimed it her all-time favorite booster.  I asked what she liked so much, and she declared, “It’s cushy for my tushy. And it’s so tall! And the cup holder is big and easy to use. And it’s really easy to buckle”

Of course I read the manual before we went out to the car to test the seat. It has broad weight and height limits: 3 years/33 pounds/33 inches, up to 100 pounds/57 inches. And the instructions are standard for a backless booster, such as requiring a head restraint and shoulderbelt. One interesting warning I found was: “NEVER allow child to buckle themselves in this Booster Car Seat”. I do applaud Combi for encouraging adult involvement in the buckling process, but I think for my own child I’ll just be sure to make a visual check that she’s secured properly.  

Incorrect Booster Use: A True Safety Hazard

A quick show of hands–who thinks it’s easier to buckle a kid into a booster than it is to buckle a kid into a harnessed car seat?  I think many parents think it’s easier to buckle a child into a booster and that’s why we see the early transition into boosters from harnessed seats.  There are other factors as well for moving a child into a booster seat: it’s less a “baby” seat, the child has outgrown a small/short harnessed seat, the parent is only willing to follow minimum legal safety requirements, it’s easier to move from vehicle to vehicle, the child is more likely able to buckle himself into the seat, there’s less chance for user error.  Or is there?