Monthly Archive:: September 2008

The End of an Era

Wow, you’re a stay-at-home Dad?  What do you do with all that free time?  Watch soap operas?  Join the town sewing club?  Kick back with a Starbucks and read some books you bought at the CarseatBlog.Com Amazon affiliate link?  Watch the MLB day games?  Take a nap?  Sure!  I do all that.  You know, the bills, house, kids and stuff only take a few minutes of time every day.  Ripping out some blogs and laying the smack down on all the users who get reported every day at Car-Seat.Org only adds a few more minutes.  Being the coordinator of a local non-profit organization and doing child seat safety inspections on the side is nothing.  So what else is there to do when you’re not part of the neighborhood daytime social network?  You guessed it, the same thing more than 10 million other people do.

Incompatible Carseats and Vehicles

This week we welcome Debbie (Defrost) for Guest Wednesday.


No one wants to hear that their new carseat will not install correctly in their vehicle.  Carseat techs tremble at the very thought of having to tell a parent that the carseat they are so pleased with and proud of – that they found for such a great deal, and that matches their car interior perfectly! – simply will not install safely in their vehicle.  For many parents, it seems like a ridiculous concept – “Incompatible?  What, are they getting married?”

Promises, promises….

Once, a long, long time ago, I made my oldest son a promise.  I told him that I wouldn’t make him ride to Middle School in a “seat”.  But I also said that up until that point, it was my decision to make.  He accepted my terms (maybe I should say that he learned to live with it because he knew arguing would have been pointless) and the years went by….

Backing up a bit – my first son has been around 50th percentile in both weight and height since he was 2 years old.  That much hasn’t changed over the years.  Last May, when he turned 11 he weighed 78 lbs and was 56.5″ tall.  I hoped that with a little healthy food, some luck, and a whole lot of sleeping late over summer vacation that he’d have a growth spurt.  He did, and for the most part I’m pleased with how he now fits in the captain’s chair of my van without a booster.

Still, it’s a big leap for me to make.  He looks so short back there without his Combi Dakota LBB.  But I guess after 11 years of looking back and seeing him in some kind of seat – this is just going to take some getting used to.

My only regret is that he’s not a little bit taller.  My ’05 Freestar has side curtain airbags but unless you’re at least as tall as the 5th percentile female dummy when seated – there’s no guarantee that they’re going to protect your head.  Unfortunately, the truth is that most curtain airbags do not deploy down far enough to protect the heads of child occupants.  Currently, the only assurance that we have is that the IIHS does their SI crash testing using the 5th percentile female dummy.  Vehicle manufacturers are aware of this so you can bet that they make their curtain ABs deploy down far enough to protect her head.  Her seated height is 31″ tall.  So, if your child has a seated height of at least 31″ (with or without a CR) then you can be relatively confident that your child may benefit from the additional protection of your vehicle’s curtain ABs.

My DS currently has a seated height of 30″ without a booster.  Would I love to put him back into that Dakota until his seated height measured 31″?  Absolutely.  But he’d be really pissed at me if I did that.  He’s waited a long time for this day and after all, I did make that promise.

Ask Marvin #3

Today, Marvin, renowned expert on the safest child seats, tackles a tough question from an upset reader.  Marvin is very sympathetic to all of his fans, but sometimes Marvin must emphasize the cold, green truth when it comes to safety.

“Dear Marvin, my daughter, Julia, is 2.5 years old and weighs 33 pounds.  She’s currently rear-facing.  I went to Car-Seat.Org for advice on which combination harness/booster model to get her.  What I got instead was 42 responses in less than an hour, all blasting me for not keeping her rear-facing!  I was so upset I broke out in tears!  Am I really a child abuser if I don’t buy a new $200 convertible seat to keep her RF for another 2 pounds? – Signed, Stumped Sierra.”

Surely You’re Not Tired of Hearing about the ABC Show Yet . . .

I hope not, because we have more, more, more!  Darren and I were there for 2 solid days and I was there for a third and trust me, there’s plenty to talk about–what’s new, what’s up and coming, how fun it was to ride the Las Vegas Monorail.  But seriously folks, on to the show.