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Monthly Archive:: March 2011

Confused about the new AAP carseat & booster recommendations? START HERE!

Welcome to CarseatBlog.com!  You’re here so you’ve obviously heard about the new recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) regarding carseats and boosters.  Perhaps you saw something on the news today or read a comment on facebook.  You might be a little (or a lot) confused right now and are looking for some accurate info and helpful advice.  We’re here to help!  Consider us your tour guides in the confusing but wonderful world of Child Passenger Safety.

These are the new recommendations from the AAP:

  • Keep kids rear-facing until at least their 2nd Birthday (keeping them rear-facing beyond age 2 is fine also if they haven’t maxed out their convertible carseat in the rear-facing position by either weight or height).
  • Once the child has maxed out the convertible seat in the rear-facing position - turn them forward-facing but keep them in the 5-point harness until they reach the maximum weight or height limits for that particular seat.
  • Don’t rush to “graduate” kids into booster seats before it’s necessary but do use a booster seat once the child has legitimately outgrown the harnessed carseat.  Every seat has different weight or height limits so make sure you understand what those limits are for your seat(s).  Some child safety seats are “combination seats” which can be used initially with the 5-point harness and then the harness is removed after it’s outgrown and the seat is used as a booster using the vehicle’s adult seatbelt system (lap/shoulder belt).
  • Keep kids in a booster seat until they reach at least 4′ 9″ tall (57″) and the vehicle’s lap/shoulder seatbelt fits them properly.  See our blog on The 5-Step Test to help you determine if your older child can ride safely in your vehicle using just the seatbelt.
  • Keep kids out of the front seat until they are TEENAGERS  (and yes, we realize that most 9-11 year olds think they’re teenagers and may act accordingly but they are not actually teenagers and they need to sit in the back seat).  Truthfully, many of these tweens still need to use a booster in order for the seatbelt to fit them properly.  I know what many parents may say about this but I’ve been through this with my oldest child who is now almost 14 and please trust me when I say, “they’ll live”.  And if you’re unlucky enough to crash with them in the vehicle – they’ll live without potentially devastating internal injuries caused by an adult seatbelt that didn’t fit them properly or wasn’t worn properly.

To Worry or Not to Worry?

When it comes to carseats there are lots of things you do need to worry about like making sure the carseat is properly installed and that the harness straps are snug and positioned correctly.  But here’s a brief list of things that you DON’T need to worry about when it comes to rear-facing toddler and older kids:

Goodbye 1 and 20 (don’t let the door hit you on the way out): Kids safest in rear-facing car seats until age 2!

Children should ride in rear-facing car seats until they are at least 2 years old instead of 1, according to updated advice from The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Can I get an “Amen”?   Or at least a collective “Woohoo”!

Trying to find more details.  We’ll post again as soon as we have more info!

March 20, 9:50p
And now, here’s NHTSA’s press release.

Here’s an excellent article from MedPage TODAY.

Recaro and Chevrolet Unboxing Madness!

Normally, “unboxing” videos make great filler for slow weeks at the blog.  They also serve to let you know what’s coming up for future reviews.  In this case, we have a couple products from companies that we have not reviewed in the past!

We are glad to welcome Recaro and their combination ProSport model, along with Chevrolet with their safe and fuel-sipping Chevy Cruze Eco.

Sporty Kid Hauler: Is it Possible? Acura TSX Wagon Kids, Carseats & Safety Review

They’re some of the safest vehicles on the road.  They haul a lot of kids.  The seating and cargo space is uber flexible.  They generally get better mileage than sport utes.  Some of them even get going pretty quick from a stop sign.  But, let’s face it, they still don’t handle like a car and even the coolest vans have a soccer mom stigma they can’t escape.  So, what about the trendy mom or dad that wants something sporty enough to be the envy of all the minivan drivers in the school pickup line?  Something a little smaller to get into that parking space and gets better fuel economy than a typical midsize SUV?

Look no further than the Acura TSX Sport Wagon.  It seats five in a perfect combination of performance and refinement.  At an estimated 22mpg city and 30mpg highway (25mpg overall), it even gets better fuel economy than compact SUVs like Honda’s CRV.  That’s even a hair higher than that ubiquitous all-wheel drive wagon that I see everywhere around Chicago (we used to own one of those ourselves).  The 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine has a very nicely tuned growl during acceleration.  With 201 horses, the TSX wagon gets moving quick enough if you floor it, and more importantly, it also stops quick and handles those corners far better than your average minivan or SUV.  After all, crash avoidance is a key to overall safety, something that will be the emphasis of this review!

Great News from Orbit Baby

This just in from Orbit:

  • Through additional testing, our Infant Car Seat G2 can now be used for infants from 4 – 30 lbs, 32 in (previously 4 – 22 lbs, 29 in), when used on its own or with the Car Seat Base G2.
  • Our Toddler Car Seat can now be used forward-facing from 20 – 65 lbs, 50 in (previously 20-50 lbs, 49 in). The rear-facing limits stay the same at (15 – 35 lbs).
  • This change is retroactive for both seats that were ever sold in the United States, and Orbit Baby is offering an industry-first update program for our existing users, free of charge. They can request an update sticker kit to apply to their car seat to remind them of this updated weight rating by visiting this page on our website: http://www.orbitbaby.com/en/car-seat-weight-rating/

You can find the official press release at the same link as above.