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Monthly Archive:: January 2009

Lessons from US Air Flight 1549

It seems apparent from the interview with Matt Lauer today that at least one baby on board US Air flight 1549 was a “lap baby”.

This is one lucky little kid.  The male passenger sitting next to the mother offered to “brace” the unrestrained baby for impact and she handed him over.  I’m not sure what he did but he deserves credit for doing something right because the baby appears uninjured during today’s interview with his parents.

Now, I can’t speak for anyone else, but I don’t think parents should count on the intuitions of the guy seated next to them to protect their children in a crash.  Sure, you could get lucky (this mother and child surely did) but I wouldn’t take those odds to Vegas.  Especially not when there’s practically a sure thing – an FAA approved carseat.  

Ask Marvin #13: Marvin Needs Your Vote Again

Dear Marvin,

I used to love the forums at Car-Seat.Org.  No, not the “upstairs” forums where I should be helping answer questions from parents who need advice on keeping their kids safe.  You know, those other forums you get to see once you’ve been a member a while.  The ones where you used to be able to troll to your heart’s content and post stuff just to get a rise out of people.

Now, the evil moderators are taking all the fun out of it.  They’ve banned topics.  They close down any thread the moment there’s a hint of discontent.  They seem to have their fingers on the infraction trigger, ready to fire as soon as anything is reported.  The forums are soooo boring without drama.  How can I make some without being banned?

Signed,

Gina Blue

Alpha Omega Elite / Eddie Bauer 3-in-1 as booster (Part II – Combo Seat Review Series)

I’ve decided to document how various combination (harness/booster) seats fit my   4-year-old, 41 lb, 43″ tall son in booster mode.  He’s at the size where most parents would be switching from the 5-pt harness to  the vehicle’s lap/shoulder belt in booster mode if they had a combination seat with a 40 lb limit on the harness.  In each case I’ll use the same seating position in my van – driver’s side captain’s chair in a 2005 Ford Freestar.

The IIHS booster study compared the fit of various boosters using the 6-year-old Hybrid lll dummy who weighs 51.6 lbs (23.41 kg) and has a standing height of almost 45″.  I thought it would be even better to show belt fit on a child who was just over the 40 lb weight limit for the 5-pt harness.  I’ve decided to focus exclusively on combination seats because of their popularity with parents of children in the 2-5 age group.

This week we’ll be looking at the Alpha Omega Elite (aka Eddie Bauer Deluxe 3-in-1) as a booster.  This is the older and most popular model with the 40 lb limit for the harness.  There is a new version of this seat that goes to 50 lbs with the harness.  I have no idea if that model has been modified in any way that would improve belt fit in booster mode.

The Car Seat Click Tips

Do you own a Britax convertible?  If you’ve ever removed the harness from the seat to clean it or just for the heck of it (hey, why not, eh?), there may be a chance that you haven’t put it back on the seat properly.  What’s that you say?  It lines up straight, it’s not twisted, and it’s on the splitter plate just fine (the splitter plate is that metal T-shaped piece on the back of the seat that holds the harness ends).  But wait!  Perhaps the Velcro isn’t lining up with the cover any more.  Aha!

The Carseat Bible?

A lot of resources are thrown around by child passenger safety advocates.  Safe Kids, the NHTSA, Transport CanadaSafetyBeltSafe USA, Safe Ride News and, of course, CarseatBlog.com.  All of these sources have good information and should be on a must read list for parents interested in reducing their child’s risk from the #1 killer of kids.  There is one resource that may be the most respected of all.

It has been updated for 2009, though it appears similar for the most part to the 2008 version.  It’s none other than Car Safety Seats: A Guide for Families 2009, by the American Academy of Pediatrics.  It’s a great collection of basic advice for both parents and doctors.  Sadly, many pediatrician’s are not up-to-date on injury prevention issues such as child passenger safety.  If your pediatrician is giving advice that is different from what is in this guide, you should politely suggest that they order copies for their patients and take the time to read it themselves!

It’s not a perfect guide.  It’s lacking references to vital resources such as Carseatblog.com, Carseatsite.com and Car-Seat.Org.  Aside from that, it’s definitely worth the time to read and to pass along what you learn to other parents of young children!