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Monthly Archive:: May 2009

Slow Day Giveaway

We have some better giveaways coming up in the next few weeks.  Today’s is pretty lame, I know.  It’s a 3-month Benefactor subscription at www.Car-Seat.Org.  If you already have a subscription, yours will be extended for 3 months.

To enter, please reply with a comment.  One winner will be picked at random on Tuesday.  The email address used in your comment must match the email address in your account at the Car-Seat.Org forums.  Good luck!

Baby It’s HOT Outside!

Summer’s coming up and while it may not be hot yet where you are, it’s definitely hot where I live.  I’m a desert rat, grew up in a desert city, and heat is what I know and love (trust me, if you throw a snowball at me, I’m liable to hurl a cactus at you ;) ).

It’s hot outside and even hotter in the car.  The kids are crying in the back seat, they’re all sweaty and red and mom is panicking, thinking they’re going to get heatstroke.  They could, I suppose.  Kids’ bodies don’t have temperature controls like adults do; they can’t dissipate heat effectively and overheat quickly.  Heat exhaustion strikes first: skin is pale and sweating is profuse, child may complain of nausea, headache, and dizziness, there are muscle cramps.  It’s very uncomfortable; I’ve had it a few times.  Heat stroke comes after heat exhaustion and is the most severe form of heat sickness-it’s LIFE THREATENING.  Symptoms include flushed and DRY skin-sweating has stopped, altered mental status, core temperature of 105˚ or higher.

Carseat Quandry: Part II

In Part I, I discussed some issues regarding universal child seat fitment and cooperation among automobile and child restraint manufacturers.  The example happened to be about some new Volvo-branded child restraints that will be available in some countries later this year.  It’s not clear if these child restraints are actually all that new or unique, let alone safer or easier to use than similar models already on the market.  On the other hand, if Volvo has developed a new and improved fitment system unique to Volvo automobiles, that would be impressive, especially given that there was cooperation with a child restraint manufacturer.

This is the Quandry.  Why don’t these companies work more closely together to make a system that is very easy to use and very difficult to misuse?  Why don’t we have child restraints in the USA that simply “plug-in” and work?  Wouldn’t it be great if we had child seats that could be installed tightly, without needing a 300 pound fireman to push it into the vehicle seat cushion so far that permanent gouges are left in the fabric?  Wouldn’t it be great if the average parent could get a rock-solid installation of a 5-point harness child seat in just a few seconds, using only one hand and little effort?  I give you the answer in video format:

 

 
So our new Quandry is this.  We clearly have the technology.  So, why do we still have so many kids improperly restrained and being seriously injured or killed in motor vehicle crashes? 

Car Seat Quandry: Part I

Last Month, Volvo introduced three new child restraints, developed by Britax Römer (article also viewable courtesy of Sweedspeed). 

- The child restraints are available in three models for children of different ages and sizes:
1. Infant seat, from newborn up to 13 kg, up to about one year old.
2.  Convertible child seat, 9-25 kg, from 9 months to about age 6. Can be turned forward facing no earlier than age 3, preferably age 4, and the child must weigh at least 15 kg.
3. Booster seat with backrest, 15-36 kg, from 4 to about 10 years, preferably longer.

Perhaps of the greatest interest is their convertible child seat that can be used rear facing, “from nine months until the child is about six years old, which is a breakthrough in safety for children in cars.”  It can then be fitted forward facing starting once the child is at least 15kg (33 pounds) and has outgrown the rear facing settings.