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Monthly Archive:: April 2011

Baby Bargain Monday at Amazon.com

I wanted to thank Graco Children’s Products for sponsoring a number of giveaways for the 10th anniversary of our Car-Seat.Org forums!

In that regard, I also wanted to pass along this news from Amazon.com.  Tomorrow, Monday April 11th, is Baby Bargain Monday with Lightning Deals, Sponsored by Graco.  We thank all of our readers for supporting our sponsors!

It Was 10 Years Ago Today

It was back in 1999 when I became frustrated with child safety seats. My son was born in 1998. We had a Century Smart Fit Plus infant carrier and extra base. It fit well enough in my car and an extra base seemed to fit fine in my wife’s car, too. The following year, I moved my son into a rear-facing convertible. 

I went right back to Century and bought a SmartMove convertible seat. I had some problems installing it. Well, I couldn’t install it. Little did I know at the time that the SmartMove was one of the most difficult child safety seats to install and that my car (a 1991 Saturn SL2 sedan) was one of the more difficult vehicles for installation, too. That combination made it impossible for me to get it installed correctly. As an engineer, I was astonished that cars and carseats could be designed so poorly that they simply would not work together.

I went to the internet. I searched. I posted on the usenet Saturn newsgroup and elsewhere. I found a toll free number for the helpful people at NHTSA’s Dash-2-dot line. I ended up returning the Smartmove and buying a Britax Roundabout that worked much better.  The Evenflo Horizon V and Fisher Price Safe Embrace were also suggested to me as options that might work.  Funny thing about the internet. Everything is archived!  I even had the seat inspected at my local police department.

That episode began my interest in child passenger safety.  After my son was 1 year and 20 pounds, I turned him forward facing in a Cosco High Back Booster with a 5-point harness, at the time a top-rated model in a leading consumer magazine!  I didn’t like it very much.  How could such a highly rated model be so difficult for an average parent to install and use? 

I then became very interested in the upcoming LATCH system that promised better compatibility.  I decided to make a web page about it.  In fact, I decided to make a few webpages to help parents find the same resources that I found to be helpful.  I also wanted to create a discussion forum where parents could ask questions without having to register and without having to see any pop-ups or other advertisements.  That High Back Booster was eventually replaced by a LATCH-equipped Century Next Step DX.  I liked that seat enough that I wrote my first carseat review about it!

On April 8th, 2001, I registered http://www.car-safety.org/ and http://www.car-seat.org/ forums and they went live within 24-48 hours after that.  Later that year, I attended my first CPS conference, became certified as a technician and also become co-ordinator of our county’s Safe Kids program.   It’s now 10 years later, and these websites are now among the busiest independent websites on the topic!  In March, just the forum alone generated over 220,000 unique visitors who viewed 7.6 million pages of information!  Car-Safety.org compiled over 61,000 unique visitors who viewed nearly 100,000 pages of information in March.

In 2007, I started CarseatBlog (almost 50,000 unique visitors and nearly 200,000 pages in March), though we didn’t start blogging regularly until the next year.  Also in 2007, I had to begin accepting subscriptions and advertising, as hosting costs for the websites had become too expensive to continue to pay on my own.  You can still post a question without registration, though thanks to spammers, there is a delay from when you submit a guest post to the time when it appears to the public after being approved by a moderator.

Anyone interested can read more facts about the forums in this post.  There is also some history of the forums posted here.  Thank you to every single visitor and member who has made Car-Seat.Org a success!  Its main goal remains the same as 10 years ago.  To help parents find the information they need to protect their children from their #1 cause of fatal injury!

The Kiddy World Plus & Kiddy Cruiser Fix Booster Preview ~ let the drooling commence!

This video from Lifesavers Phoenix covers most of the important features and specs of these two new-to-us, Kiddy Child Restraints.  Keep in mind, both of these seats were prototypes so changes should be expected before the final products reach store shelves.  Heather was camerawoman extraordinaire and, as usual, I played the part of “the mouth” of CarseatBlog.com!  Disregard the racket in the background - it was the end of day 2 and everyone was literally breaking down camp around us!    

I am copying and pasting info from Heather’s Lifesavers Manufacturers Update blog and adding a few extra notes: 

Kiddy is a well-known German CR Manufacturer with several German award-winning CR models. They are known for their emphasis on and utilization of energy-absorbing impact shield technology.  The Kiddy World Plus combination seat & Kiddy Cruiser Fix Pro booster will be the first Kiddy CRs available in the US. 

The Kiddy World Plus is expected to be available in June. MSRP will be approx $269.  Features include:

 

The Kiddy Cruiser Fix Pro is expected to be available in May. MSRP should be under $250 but they didn’t have an exact price point to give us yet. Features include:

  • honeycomb in head and shoulder area
  • shock absorber technology in area of lap belt guide
  • Rated up to 110 lbs
  • Several unique features (check out the video – we don’t want to spoil the surprises!) 

 

After watching the video back, I realized that I was off in my projections of height and depth measurements.  Forgive me – we had taken measurements earlier and I wasn’t spot-on in my recollection of the actual numbers. 

Kiddy World Plus (KWP):

  • top height in booster mode (measured to bottom of belt guide) 22.5″  
  • Seat depth (leg support) 15.25″

Kiddy Cruiser Fix Pro (KCFP):

  • top height in booster mode (measured to bottom of belt guide) 20.5″  
  • Seat depth (leg support) – 3 positions. Range from 13.75″ – 16.5″ fully extended

Lifesavers 2011 Manufacturers’ Update

Heather and Kecia attended the pre-conference manufacturers’ session just to get the scoop on the new products just for YOU! So read on to see what’s coming out now and in the near future!

Kiddy

The Kiddy World Plus available in June. Features include:

  • 20-40 lbs. with energy absorbing shield
  • up to 100 lbs. without shield used as a belt positioning booster

 The Cruiser Fix available in May. Features include:

  • honeycomb in head and shoulder area

Kecia will have more, including measurements, in an upcoming blog, including a video showcasing both boosters! I know, I’m such a tease ;).



Summer Prodigy Infant

  • available in summer
  • 4-32 lbs.
  • Smart Screen technology screen
  • SafeGuard 1-Adjust harness adjust
  • $179 infant seat with base, $89 extra base, $329 travel system, $169 stroller only

You read Jennie’s thoughts on the new infant seat and saw how it installs, so here are some pictures.

          



Combi

Shuttle

  • 2011 model will be from birth-35 lbs.
    • base or baseless installs from birth-22 lbs., but must use base from 23-35 lbs.

 Navette

  • baseless Shuttle to 22 lbs. (institutional seat)

 Coccoro

  • 2011 models have SafeGuard push-on LATCH miniconnectors with green “on” indicators (see Jennie’s Summer Prodigy LATCH install video–they will be using the same miniconnectors)
  • 3-33 lbs. rf
  • rf tethering is retroactive to all Coccoros, so you can start rf tethering RIGHT NOW
  • comes with dual anti-skid tape attached to seat rails on the bottom
  • coming out with new delicious colors, but Vera didn’t know what colors yet

 Kobuk bpb

  • 33-125 lbs.
  • designed with air vents since kids were complaining of being hot

 Combi has a no inflatable airbag seatbelt policy with its carseats; includes new Ford airbag seat belts as well as aviation airbag seatbelts.



The First Years

Via 35 (I470)

  • 5-35 lbs., can use baseless to 22 lbs.
  • handle is used as an anti-rebound bar: rotate forward and lock in position toward feet
  • it’ll be released in Canada FIRST before the US (look for it in Zellers, then BRU)

Unite Belted Booster (BB830)

  • 20-65 lbs. with harness, 30-100 lbs. as bpb
  • combination seat!
  • 2 position recline
  • 18.5″ top slots, 12.5″ bottom slots
  • 19.5″ shoulder belt guides
  • 6″ and 7.25″ crotch strap positions
  • removable cupholders that can be put in dishwasher
  • late August/early September

       



Orbit Baby

Orbit Infant G2

  • has been certified to 30 lbs. retroactively
  • is sending stickers out to all registered G2 owners or owners can request stickers

Toddler Car Seat

 


Cybex

Aton (pronounced ātahn)

  • 4-32 lbs.
  • will be in major BRU stores in early April and specialty stores soon
  • EPS foam and an EPS foam inlay for newborns used to 11 lbs. for proper fit
  • separate fabric infant insert used to 22 lbs.
  • 3 harness slots
  • 4 adjustment levels on base
  • handle must be UP in vehicle for rebound and rotation management
  • $199 fabric, $219 suede, $99 extra base

 Remember to read Jennie’s blog on this new infant seat shipping now.

Solution X-fix bpb

  • can find it for $99 as a promotion to get the Cybex name on the market in preparation for the Aton launch

Cybex has a no inflatable airbag seatbelt policy with its carseats; includes new Ford airbag seat belts as well as aviation airbag seatbelts.