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Monthly Archive:: July 2010

Airplanes, Carseats, and Kids—What You Need to Know Pt. 2

Is one seat better or easier for airplane traveling than another?  Perhaps.  It all depends on our mantra: the best carseat is the one that fits your vehicle, your child, and your budget.  We’ve obviously got 2 vehicles here: the airplane and the car.  You may think that your carseat looks too wide to use on an aircraft, but it may not be.  Remember that armrests can be lifted and often the widest part of the carseat is above the armrest on the airplane seat, so it can be done.  Some folks who travel often do buy a different carseat just for traveling because their main carseat is heavier or bulkier than the travel seat.  The travel seat can also be a backup seat for a babysitter or grandma’s car.

Airplanes, Carseats, and Kids—What You Need to Know Pt. 1

So you’ve planned the big trip: the luggage is picked out, you know what outfits the kids will be wearing, you know what snacks everyone will be eating on the plane, but you don’t know what to do about carseats.  Traveling with kids isn’t easy.  So many things can go wrong.  But with a little planning, your trip can be a breeze and when you settle into your seat on the plane, you’ll wonder why you spent so much time obsessing and worrying about the trip in the first place.

Last May, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a Safety Alert urging parents to buy separate airplane seats for all children and to use appropriate child safety restraints for those kids.  Unfortunately, children under age 2 are permitted to ride as “lap babies” for free on planes.  Everything else on the plane—tray tables, beverage carts, coffee pots—are required to be secured during takeoff and landing and whenever the pilot has the seatbelt sign on.  However, these lap babies are only secured by their parents’ arms.  In severe turbulence, which cannot be predicted (can you see an air pocket in the sky?), unbuckled passengers and flight attendants have been thrown against the ceiling and injured, sometimes severely.  In survivable crashes or runway incidents, unbuckled children become projectiles, just like in your vehicle, but at much higher speeds.  There is a device, the Baby B’Air, that tethers a lap baby to the parent’s seatbelt, but it is not approved for takeoff or landing.  In an emergency, a parent using the Baby B’Air will be asked to put the child on the ground, wrapped in a blanket, so the parent can assume the brace position.

How Many CRs in Kecia’s Training Seat Collection? Giveaway!

As I unloaded all the training seats that I took to class in Kingston last week – I got the bright idea to share my collection with our blog readers.  I had no intention of turning it into a giveaway but when I noticed the bag of Lifesavers freebies that has been sitting next to my desk since April – the light bulb went off.  So, here the deal:

The first person to correctly guess how many training CRs are in that storage room (see video below) will win the bag of freebies from Lifesavers!  Keep in mind that you can’t actually see all the CRs in that video although you do see most of them.  Contest will be open until Noon EST on Friday.  I’ll announce the winner on Friday afternoon, by which time I will have the correct answer.  Now the fine print…. eh, I’m lazy – so there will be no fine print except to exclude anyone who actually attended the LS Conference in Philly this year.  However, if you win and you live outside of the US, then it will be up to you to cover any costs beyond the $9 that I’m expecting to spend to ship this box via USPS priority mail.  Oh, and if you make fun of the way I pronounce “Maestro” then you’ll be automatically disqualified.  Capisce?  ;-)

PS – In the event that no one guesses the correct answer then I’ll chose the number that was closest without going over.

Britax Marathon 70 Review – Part III – Installation

This Britax Marathon 70 Installation Review is a continuation of review Part I and Part II.  The Britax Marathon 70Boulevard 70, Boulevard 70 CS (Click & Safe), Advocate 70 CS and the Roundabout 55 are the all new Britax convertible carseat line.

Installation comments in 2005 Ford Freestar minivan (middle row captain’s chair) with LATCH:

The Good News – Everything! The seat practically installs itself, both rear-facing or forward-facing, if you’re using the LATCH system.  Unless otherwise specified by your vehicle manufacturer - you can use the lower LATCH anchors until your child reaches 40 lbs, then you must switch to a seatbelt install.  Many vehicle manufacturers allow the LATCH system to be used up to 48 lbs so check your vehicle owners manual for guidance.  Britax recommends that the tether be used at all times.  If using LATCH in a center seating position that doesn’t have dedicated lower anchors - you can use the lower LATCH attachments on the Marathon 70 if the spacing between those lower anchors is 20″ or less and the vehicle manufacturer allows it.  The “Non-Handed” lower anchor attachments on the MA70 allow you to easily switch the connectors from the rear-facing to the forward-facing orientation.  You just slide the straps back and forth along the metal bar and attach them to the lower LATCH anchors! No more “switching” the LATCH connectors like you had to do on the original Marathon model.

Now the big question: How much room does the new MA70 take up in the rear-facing position?