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New Seat Hype

I don’t mean to rain on anyone’s parade but I’m frequently amused by the reactions that ensue whenever there’s hint of a new seat.  Don’t get me wrong, I like to speculate about new products as much as the next carseat-loving person but the reality rarely lives up the hype.  The perfect carseat for everyone just doesn’t exist although if you’re lucky – you’ll find the perfect seat for your kid once in a while. 

I’ve learned to not get my hopes up prematurely and to take it all in stride when the seat doesn’t live up to the expectations.  I remember all the excitement about a “real” Simpson Racing carseat – which never materialized.  I remember all the hopes and dreams that we had pinned on the Airway – only to be totally let down by the reality that it was a piece of junk.  I remember the frenzy that followed the initial release of the Super Elite.  That seat was harder to find than a snowball in Miami when it was first released!  There were waiting lists at every baby specialty store and the few that wound up on Ebay went for double and triple the retail price.  Of course, after all of that – the seat had several recalls and was eventually replaced with the Husky.      

Not too long ago the big anticipation was the Recaro convertibles.  Sure, they’re nice seats but they’ve had their share of problems and issues too.  Now, the word is that Recaro is working on re-releasing the Young Sport with a higher-weight-harness limit.  I advise anyone who is interested in that particular seat (or the Recaro infant seat) not to get too excited.  We’ll probably see them eventually but Recaro time is like dog years.  Spring 2010 could mean 6 years from now for the rest of us.  I hope I’m wrong about that but only time will tell.

Just recently the news that Graco might be close to launching a new convertible seat with a rear-facing weight limit of 40 lbs has created a LOT of excitement on the forum. However, they’re not the first manufacturer to promise this and nothing has ever materialized before.  I think going where no other manufacturer (in the US) has gone before is easier said than done.  I’m not trying to be a downer – I just want to caution everyone not to pin all their hopes and dreams on this potential seat.  Especially since we don’t know a darn thing about it yet.  It’s okay to be excited about the prospects and I hope Graco knocks all our socks off with an awesome new convertible seat (they’ve had enough time to work on something in that dept) but I’m not going to hold my breath.        

Fatal Distraction: Too Many Kids Lost Because We’re Being Safe

On Sunday, March 8, the Washington Post ran an article about children who died after being left in hot vehicles and the aftermath.  What happens to the families?  Are the parents who did the unthinkable prosecuted?  Do marriages survive?

Lifesavers – saving the best for last!

Darren is traveling today but he wanted to share some really big news from Lifesavers with our blog readers.  Often, the most productive aspect of these big conferences isn’t what you learn in the workshop sessions – it’s what you pick up networking with the advocates and schmoozing the reps.  Case in point, one of his reliable sources has confirmed that a major CR manufacturer has purchased the rights to some of the old Fisher-Price child restraint designs and is tweaking them for re-release as the Futura80 and Stay-In-View32!  We don’t know if the names will change before they are released but the word is that they’ll be unveiled at the ABC Kids Expo in September and should be on store shelves shortly thereafter!

My Goodness, My Guinness

Lifesavers isn’t all business.  Turns out, the law enforcement and traffic safety community does party quite a bit.  Well, you probably guessed that, but you might be surprised that the CPS community does, too.  In fact, a few carseat moms put back more Guinness than I did at our Car-Seat.Org reception last night (that ended up in Findley’s Irish Pub).  I’m not naming any names, but you know who you are!  Well over a dozen online advocates attended.  Most of us were seated just one table over from the collection of manufacturers representatives.  That was quite a fortunate coincidence, as it gave Heather and I an opportunity to beg for some carseat giveaways, after they’d let down their defenses from all the other beggars at the conference exhibits.  Stay tuned, as I think at least a couple nice giveaways will be forthcoming over the next few weeks!

Sad you couldn’t make it?  Don’t despair!  Start making plans for Philadelphia, April 11-13, 2010 for Lifesavers next year.  Even better, set aside August 11-13th, 2011, for what I hope will be the largest collection of online techs and advocates yet, the Kidz In Motion Conference in Orlando.  We may also make appearances at KIM 2009 and 2010 along with the ABC Kids Expo each fall in Vegas, but put the two above in your calendars now.

More to come from the show!