Quantcast

Monthly Archive:: September 2008

The Car Seat Poncho Review: I Wish I Had One for Me!

I’ve heard lots of feedback online about the Car Seat Poncho and it’s all been positive, so I wanted to see what all the buzz was really about.  The Car Seat Poncho is a straightforward solution for parents who want to keep their children safely warm in a car seat.  A thick jacket worn under a harness can compress in a crash and leave the harness loose.  A loose harness can mean ejection for the child.  With a product like the Car Seat Poncho, there’s no need for a thick jacket underneath; your child will stay toasty and snug in the harness.

 

Ask Marvin #5: A Long, Fishy Rant

Marvin is sincerely saddened by the plight of today’s emailer, who drags Marvin into the sordid world of politics and finance.

“Dear Marvin, I’m a single parent on financial aid and read your blog every Monday at the public library (because I have no telephone or internet).   I lost my job a few years ago because the government made it cheaper and easier for my old company to employ someone in southeast Asia instead.  I now have a few part-time, minimum wage jobs (with no benefits or health care), but still can’t make ends meet.  The most important thing in my life is my baby and I can’t afford to buy her a new carseat.  I’m stuck using a 10 year old hand-me-down and I have no idea whether it’s safe or not:-(  I went to the local police and fire departments, but they didn’t have any free or discounted seats and didn’t know where to send me for one.  Not only that, but neither of them do child seat safety inspections any longer because of their budget cuts.  What should I do? -  Signed, Hopeless Hanna”.

Soccer Safety

Have a grade school child in a recreational youth soccer league?  Ever play one of those teams that has a kid who somehow manages to trip or elbow every single time they are near the ball?  The referees are usually high school kids who play soccer.  They get paid a little, in other towns maybe they volunteer.  They’re gonna miss hand balls, out of bounds calls and maybe a penalty or two.  Annoying, but no big deal and it’s usually equally missed for both teams.

On the other hand, I just don’t get how they miss it play after play, quarter after quarter, when one kid is constantly sticking his foot out to trip people or sticking his elbow into another player’s head or neck to get position.  They call this stuff in competitive, travelling team leagues because it’s a real penalty.  Why not call it in the recreational leagues where it could well result in a broken arm or leg?  It seems like every two or three games there’s one child among the 25 or more on both teams who does this.  I spot it in the first quarter, even around all the incidental trips and kicks and shoves.  I wish the refs would, too.

Quick Reviews: Evenflo Symphony and GoGoBabyz Infant Cruizer

Our friends at Evenflo and Go Go Babyz sent us some very nice products for review.  I’m impressed by both of them, but will only do quick reviews today.  They will be followed by full reviews in the near future, as they are being evaluated by parents with children who can more fully put them through their paces!

Where do they grow these kids?

Booster until age 8 stickerWe’ve all seen it before. I’m talking about the information in pamphlets and flyers regarding kids and booster seats. Most read like this: Kids should remain in booster seats until they are at least 8 years old, unless they are 4’9″ tall.

Excuse me? I don’t know where this age 8 came from but where I live we don’t see too many kids who are almost 5 feet tall at 8 years or younger. I’m sure they’re out there but seriously, most 2nd and 3rd Graders are NOT the size of small adults. So what gives?

Honestly, I have no idea why it’s so common to see age 8 listed as the magic number when kids can graduate to the adult seatbelt. Yes, I realize that it often says “at least 8″ but trust me when I say that it’s not the “at least” part that most parents remember. Most don’t even remember the 4’9″ part of the message. So where does that magic #8 come from? They sure aren’t referencing the CDC growth charts!

Maybe it’s a social change thing. We’re still getting a lot of parents used to the idea that their 6 and 7 year olds need a booster. Perhaps we’re worried that we’ll turn them off completely and they’ll think we’re all nuts if we tell them the truth. And age 8 seems like a reasonable number for most parents to ditch the booster seat, right?

Wrong.

Most 8 year old kids do not fit safely in the adult seatbelt of most vehicles. Sure, there are always exceptions, like some 3rd row seats which are clearly designed with smaller people in mind. But generally speaking, most kids do not actually pass the 5-Step Test until they are at least 57″ (4’9″ tall). For many kids even 57″ tall isn’t tall enough to get optimal belt fit.

Now, let’s have a look at those handy-dandy CDC growth charts. An 8 year old boy who measures in the 95th percentile for both weight and height is 35kg (77 lbs) and 54″ tall.  And an 8 year old boy who measures in the 50th percentile for weight and height is 25kg (55 lbs) and 50″ tall. According to the growth charts – a boy who measures in the 95th percentile for height won’t hit 4’9″ (57″) until he is 9 years old. That kid in the 50th percentile won’t get there until he’s 11. And a kid in the 10th percentile for height will be 13 before they reach 4’9″.

So I’d like to know where they grow these huge 8 year olds that everyone seems to be talking about? Our dearly departed mascot, Marvin, would have said it sounds a little fishy.