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Monthly Archive:: August 2009

Viva the Via Giveaway!

Learning Curve The First Years Via in AuroraThis giveaway is now closed. The winner will be announced soon. Thank you for participating!

Who loves a good giveaway?  Why we here at the blog do, of course!  Especially when it’s a car seat we’re giving away.  We like to keep our readers happy and their kiddos comfy and safe too.  The wonderful folks at Learning Curve have given us a First Years Via infant seat in Aurora to giveaway.  Did you know that the handle on this infant seat can be placed all the way forward to be used as an anti-rebound bar?  Way cool!  To enter, all you have to do is leave a car seat safety tip in your comment.  Just one.  That’s it.  It can be as basic or as complicated as you’d like.  Just one safety tip per comment and one comment per family, please.  If you leave more than one comment, only the first one will count.

And now for the legalese:

You Wear Your Seatbelt, but Do You…

…adjust your seat back and head restraint?

Severe crashes from the rear are relatively uncommon.  Depending on the statistics you find, fatal rear end impacts are usually well under 10% of all serious crashes.  On the other hand, rear-enders are a lot more common at lower speeds, in crashes with less severe injuries.  Whiplash injuries are relatively common in these types of impacts.  While they are rarely fatal, they can cause a lot of health issues.  The best way to prevent or reduce the severity of these types of injuries is to make sure your vehicle seat back and head restraint are adjusted correctly.  This website has a great pictorial guide:

http://www.safety.ed.ac.uk/resources/General/Driving_posture.shtm

The IIHS also does a test for safety in rear impacts.  In a future blog, I’ll discuss some flaws with this testing and why the passenger really needs to actively adjust their own seat to protect themselves.

Helping your child cope after a crash

crash sceneHundreds of thousands of children are involved in MVCs (Motor Vehicle Crashes) each year. The lucky ones, and the ones who are optimally restrained in an appropriate safety seat, may walk away with nothing more than bumps, bruises and a good scare.  Depending on the circumstances, others may not be so lucky. But regardless of whether the child was injured or not, being involved in a crash can be a terrifying ordeal for children. As someone who has survived two bad crashes, I can attest to how terrifying it really is – even for an adult. Unfortunately, I also understand that the fear and terror of the event don’t always fade away when the bruises do. It’s so important for parents and caregivers to be on the lookout for signs of traumatic stress in the weeks (and even months) following a crash. A little anxiety, maybe a few nightmares and some generally clinginess after the accident is very common and should be expected. It’s also common (and understandable) for the child to be reluctant to get back in the car.  However, since walking everywhere isn’t an option for most parents – this can be a real dilemma. We need to respect our children’s fears and emotions, and we certainly don’t want to traumatize them any further, but we also need them to get back in the car. For children who are non-verbal or have limited communication skills, it can be even trickier to address the underlying issues and calm their fears.  

Since every child and every set of circumstances is different, no one can claim to have all the magic answers. However, this wonderful website AfterTheInjury.org from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) can provide much needed information and guidance to help children after a traumatic event or injury. It can also help parents to differentiate between typical, normal reactions and those that may be a red flag indicative of traumatic stress. I’m so pleased that this site exists now. I believe it’s an area that really needs more attention and parents need more and better ways to support their children in the emotional healing process after a crash.

Blog Improvements

organizeWe love our readers :) .  To make it easier for our readers to find the blog posts they remember reading, we’ve gone back through and categorized as many as we can to fit into neat little categories like Reviews, Previews, Safety, etc.  This means that if you’d like to reminisce about Marvin, just click the Marvin category and you’ll find all of Marvin’s old posts.

Don’t forget that even though we have this great way organizing our posts, we do have a listing of all our reviews on Facebook too.  Just do a search for CarseatBlog on Facebook and you’ll find us easily!