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Monthly Archive:: January 2012

Getting Involved

I don’t know what made me do it. I try to mind my own business most of the time. I mean, sure, I look in other cars to see what carseats are being used–that comes with the territory. But I don’t get involved. I know other techs personally who have had parents go ballistic on them when they’ve offered safety advice in parking lots. Since I don’t know if someone has a weapon in their vehicle and since I often don’t have the time to do an all-out carseat inspection, I simply go about my business. But not the other day.

Perhaps it was the mood I was in or perhaps I was just sick and tired of all of the misuse at my dd’s elementary school (Hah! Misuse would definitely be an improvement over no use, don’t you think?), but on the way home from picking up my dd at school, I’d had enough. Fortunately, our state has a hotline we can call when we see unrestrained kids. My dd and I memorized the vehicle’s license plate number and I called when we got home. This SUV had at least three booster-aged kids in it and one of them was riding unrestrained in the cargo area. The little boy, the youngest, was happily moving about the cargo area even though there were 7 seatbelts available for use. We even had just driven through an accident site–the accident just occurred about a minute or so before we drove through (yep, a red light runner). Mom still didn’t pull over to make sure her kids were safe. So I reported them.

Mom will get a letter in the mail from one of the local police departments educating her on the use of child restraints. It’s fairly innocuous and I’m sure she’ll throw it away thinking that since she did the same thing when she was a kid, her ds will be OK. But hopefully it won’t end up in the trash. Maybe now she’ll know she’s being watched and will do better to make sure her kids are safe. As a parent, I can’t imagine not making the environment my kids are in as safe as possible. The mere act of a hard stop would have inured that boy in some manner and I truly can’t comprehend why he wasn’t restrained.

I don’t know if I’ll call again when I see him unrestrained. I tend not to get involved and tend to be phone-phobic. It’s easier and I’m all for easy. Perhaps, though, calling this one time will have made a difference.

The Dorel Technical Center for Child Safety – CPS Heaven in Indiana? Part II

In Part I, I discussed how we wound up visiting Dorel’s Technical Center for Child Safety in Columbus, Indiana and what they accomplish there.  It’s quite the impressive place and after thoroughly enjoying the little trip down carseat memory lane they have on display, it was time to move on to the next stop on the tour.

Getting an education on “Soft Goods”.  Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 pictured.

  

 

Next, the Model Shop where products and components are pulled and swung and twisted and hammered. And tested for Lead (using proper industry standard procedures).  That blue machine is pounding the chest clip… 15,857 times (and counting)!

        

 

Moving along to the lab…

Unboxing: Evenflo Secure Kid 300 & Symphony 65 e3 Preview

We know many of our readers have been looking forward to a thorough review of the new Evenflo Secure Kid 300/400 combination harness/booster seat and it’ll be coming soon! In the  mean time enjoy this preview unboxing video.  We’ll also have an updated review of the Symphony 65 with e3 side impact protection technology coming in the near future so stay tuned!

 

 

Going Postal

Like many organizations, CarseatBlog has a PO Box.  This box was located at the “old” post office in my town.  Conveniently located, I had the box there for 5 years or so and have been going to the quaint downtown location my whole life to use post office services.  The people that worked there were always friendly, the service was very good and the lines were never as long as in the main post office.  Earlier this year, the old building was sold.  We were told that the post office would lease part of the old location to retain some services there, including PO Boxes.  So, there would be no long term effect on box owners.  During the renovation, boxes would be moved temporarily to the newer main post office in town.  No big deal, right?  Sure, it’s quite a bit farther, but I don’t need to check it more than every week or two.  They gave me a key to a box at the main location where an existing box had a decal with my number placed upon it, as did all the others from the old location.

So, I made a bi-weekly trek to check my box last month.  Inside was a “greeting” note.  It informed me that my P.O. Box was affected by the move back to the renovated old location.  Due to the smaller area and configuration in the renovated facility, it would no longer be available.   You’ve probably seen recent news stories about the postal service debt crisis and the potential for future reductions in workforce and locations.  I’m apparently one of the first downsizing victims. 

Okay, so they had to know they were going to screw a number of box owners all along, but still, no big deal.  I’ll just keep the current arrangement at the new post office, right?  After all, in this economy, you want to keep your small business customers.  Not only do we buy PO Boxes, but we ship stuff (like carseats, contest prizes and such) when we come to check the box, as I often do.  Well, apparently, not only is my physical box disappearing, but my box number is being discontinued, too!  That’s right, it’s like I’m being forced to move: address change, new business cards, hassle of updating information everywhere, etc, etc.

Of course, I tried to reason with them.  But, this is the post office.  Much like the phone company, the post office doesn’t work quite like other businesses when it comes to customers.  The supervisor was sympathetic, but after a long discussion, there was absolutely no way they could let me keep my box number, at any location.  My only options were to select among the available box numbers at the old or new post office, or simply have my mail forwarded to another address.

Of course, I asked the first obvious question: