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Monthly Archive:: September 2010

To All First Responders: “Thank You”

Yesterday there was a mass-casualty Motor Vehicle Crash near my home in Orange County, NY.  DH and DS1 were stuck in the traffic nightmare that ensued when they shut down all North and Southbound lanes of the NYS Thruway (I-87) between the exits – a stretch of about 17 miles.  So far, there have been 7 fatalities from this single-vehicle MVC (6 yesterday, 1 more died last night).  None of them were children but that hardly seems like a consolation.  Anyhow, after gawking at all the grisly photos of the crash scene, I’m reminded again of my appreciation, gratitude and respect for all First Responders.  I could never deal with the emotional fallout of seeing things like this so I bow to those who can and do.  And I promise to keep doing my part (admittedly, the easy part) focusing on injury PREVENTION – if they promise to always be there to help with the really difficult tasks.

I’ve played the part of the crash victim on a few occasions in my life but never had the chance to say “Thank you”, in person, to those that first came to my aid.  So, to the guy in the White Suburban (who wound up being a volunteer firefighter) that I nearly ran off the road when I lost control of  DH’s red ’73 Mustang back on that September 1996 evening on the Saw Mill River Pkwy – Thank you.  I hope you know how very grateful I have always been for your care and comfort in those first, scary, post-crash minutes.  And another big “Thank you” to the driver of that highway crew truck who parked his huge vehicle with flashing lights behind my totalled Ford Taurus on the shoulder of the NYS Thruway on that rainy autumn afternoon in 2005.  It was such a relief to have you protecting my poor wrecked vehicle (with toddler DS2 and I inside), from the rest of the Interstate traffic whizzing past us at 70 MPH in the rain. You were our guardian angel before the Trooper and the tow truck and DH arrived to help. I’ll always remember and appreciate what you did for us that day.   

As I sit here on my couch today – watching a great Dallas/Bears game, having a cold beer, playing cards with my 6 year old – I’m careful to acknowledge and appreciate the fact that I slept well last night.  I can guarantee that there were plenty of First Responders (here and elsewhere) who didn’t sleep at all last night.  I don’t know how they’ll manage to cope with whatever they saw yesterday but I hope they find a way because we all need them to be ready for the next emergency call.  I don’t know if “thank you” helps to speed the healing process in any way but just in case it does – thank you, thank you, thank you!  I’m so glad you do what you do – so I can have the luxury of focusing on what I love to do (keeping kids safe and sleeping at night).

Graco Nautilus Elite: First Look Review

The Graco Nautilus is one of the best sellers through our affiliate store.  We have been remiss in not having an actual review of it, even though it does appear on our recommended seats list.  We will make up for this with two reviews of the new and improved Graco Nautilus Elite, starting with my brief First Look.  The Nautilus Elite distinguishes itself with shoulder belt lock-offs to aid seatbelt installations.  It also has adjustable width side wings on the head restraint section.

The Graco Nautilus is a very popular combination seat that converts from a front-facing child safety seat with a 5-point harness to a booster, either high-back or backless.  Because of these three modes, Graco calls it a “3-in-1″, though parents should be aware that it does not install rear-facing like some other “3-in-1″ products.  The Nautilus accommodates kids front-facing with harness from 20 to 65 pounds, from 27 to 52 inches tall, subject to other height restrictions.  It can also be used as a high-back booster from 30 to 100 pounds for kids 37 to 57 inches tall.  Finally, it can be used as a backless booster from 40 to 100 pounds for kids 40 to 57 inches tall.

4’9” / Age 8 / 80 lbs.: Does Your Kid Still Need A Booster?

I’ve been patiently waiting, just like other parents, for my oldest child to grow up—he’s 10 and a half now (born New Year’s Eve, 1999, and yes, we had our bathtub filled with water—did you?).  I know, I know.  They’re only little once, I should appreciate him being small while he is, yada yada yada.  Small is not a word I’ve ever associated with my ds.  He was big from the get-go and only got bigger, lol.  Since I’ve been a child passenger safety technician for most of my ds’s life, I’ve had a keen interest in how he fits in carseats and vehicles.  Now that he’s 4’11.5”, he’s tall enough to be riding in just an adult seatbelt, right?

You’d think so.  When he’s walking around in his shoes, he’s definitely 5’ tall, little bugger.  He’s catching up to me ;) and is taller than some women already.  Generally the only kids taller than him in his class at school are the girls.  So why is he still in his backless booster when he’s clearly over 4’9” and close to 80 lbs., which is what NHTSA tells us is the safe height for kids to move out of boosters?  Even the Ad Council has these great ads educating us about 4’9”.  Twenty states have laws based on 4’9” and of those twenty, five states have added provisions about 80 lbs.: children must ride in boosters or some other form of child restraint until they meet the height and/or weight criteria before moving to an adult seatbelt.  Only two states, Wyoming and Tennessee*, have laws requiring kids to ride in boosters to age 8.

Remember.

Remember with peace, love and tolerance.

Kecia, Heather and Darren